An Integrated Population Model for Greater Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) in the Bi-State Distinct Population Segment, California and Nevada, 2003–17

Open-File Report 2018-1177
Prepared in cooperation with the Bureau of Land Management, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Nevada Department of Wildlife, and the U.S. Forest Service
By: , and 



The Bi-State Distinct Population Segment (DPS) of greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus, hereinafter “sage-grouse”) occupies parts of Alpine, Mono, and Inyo Counties in California, and parts of Douglas, Esmeralda, Lyon, Carson City, and Mineral Counties in Nevada and was proposed for listing as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) in October 2013. In April 2015, the USFWS determined that the Bi-State DPS did not warrant listing under the ESA, but monitoring continued for assessment of long-term population stability (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 2015a). Threats to this population include geographic isolation, expansion of single-leaf pinyon (Pinus monophylla) and Utah juniper (Juniperus osteosperma), anthropogenic activities, changes in historical wildfire cycles and the conversion of native shrubs to invasive annual grasslands, and recent changes in predator communities. As part of a broad long-term monitoring program, we used an integrated population model to estimate finite rate of population change (λ) of each subpopulation within the Bi-State DPS from 2003 to 2017. Since 2012, the Bi-State DPS experienced multiple years of drought conditions associated with periods of population decline across multiple populations. The 14-year average (λ) for the Bi-State DPS is 0.98 (95 percent CRI=0.70–1.31). Three subpopulations (Mount Grant, Fales, Bodie Hills) showed continued evidence of stability and growth as the average λ exceeded 1.0. Moreover, we implemented the first year of an experimental pre-nesting female and brood translocation program to bolster a critically low population of sage-grouse in Parker Meadows, California. Finally, we report summary statistics describing sage-grouse movements and relative abundance of avian predators across all years of the study.

Suggested Citation

Mathews, S.R., Coates, P.S., Prochazka, B.G., Ricca, M.A., Meyerpeter, M.B., Espinosa, S.P., Lisius, S., Gardner, S.C., and Delehanty, D.J., 2018, An integrated population model for greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) in the Bi-State Distinct Population Segment, California and Nevada, 2003–17: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2018-1177, 89 p.,

ISSN: 2331-1258 (online)

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • Abstract
  • Background
  • Study Areas
  • Methods
  • Preliminary Results
  • Interpretation of Demographic Estimates
  • References Cited
  • Appendixes

Additional publication details

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title An integrated population model for greater Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) in the bi-state distinct population segment, California and Nevada, 2003–17
Series title Open-File Report
Series number 2018-1177
DOI 10.3133/ofr20181177
Year Published 2018
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) Western Ecological Research Center
Description ix, 89 p.
Online Only (Y/N) Y