Tag: sage grouse

Grouse Robot: Remote-Controlled Bird Assists Conservation

A grouse robot? You bet. And no, it’s not a gimmick. On the sagebrush plains of Wyoming, researchers are deploying the fake birds to study how males react to females — and helping to protect the species in the process.

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Spring’s Top 10 Wildlife Spectacles

Looking for a great wildlife road trip, or just a reason to explore the neighborhood park? Our blogger offers top 10 wildlife experiences for spring, from baby bison to mayfly madness.

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Mule Deer Capture: Radio Tracking Provides Critical Conservation Data

Radio tracking provides critical data as conservationists try to map mule deer migrations. But first they have to put a radio collar on the deer. Conservation scientist Holly Copeland joins a team to capture mule deer for conservation.

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The Grouse in Winter

Self-made snow igloos, “reverse” migrations and big sagebrush. The unusual ways 3 grouse species survive and thrive in deep snow and frigid temperatures.

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The Sage Grouse Initiative: Science to Solutions

For sage grouse, the the apocalypse comes in the form of fire, weeds, unplanned energy development and even encroaching trees. But now, these birds are the subject of “one of the largest conservation experiments ever undertaken in North America.” Is it enough to save them?

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Can Protecting Core Areas Help Imperiled Sage Grouse Populations?

Can protecting core sage grouse habitat while allowing energy and housing development in less-sensitive areas help conserve this declining bird? That’s the focus of a recent paper in PLoS One journal that measures the effectiveness of sage grouse conservation actions in Wyoming, the state with the largest population of these birds.

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Sage Grouse, Sagebrush and Science

They appear like ghosts before light: small groups of plump birds standing amongst the sagebrush. They puff up, tail feathers erect, chest extended. Large air sacs are inflated on their breasts, making a distinct plop.

I’m on the spring display grounds of the greater sage grouse, one of the arid West’s most iconic birds. Each spring males gather on these grounds, known as leks, to impress females with their display.

You have to get up early in the morning and sit motionless in the high desert. But you’ll be rewarded in the soft light of dawn, as sage grouse begin their show. It’s not unusual 15 males vying for the attention of female grouse on a lek, a site that grouse use year after year. (I’ve seen more than 50 on a lek at The Nature Conservancy’s Crooked Creek Preserve).

It’s one of the world’s most memorable wildlife spectacles. But finding it has grown increasingly difficult, as sage grouse continue to decline across their range.

Why are sage grouse on the decline? And is there anything we can do about it?

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