Title: Sagebrush-associated species of conservation concern
Author: Rowland, Mary M.; Suring, Lowell H.; Leu, Matthias; Knick, Steven T.; Wisdom, Michael J.
Source: Hanser, S.E.; Leu, M.; Knick, S.T.; Aldridge, C.L., eds. Sagebrush ecosystem conservation and management: ecoregional assessment tools and models for the Wyoming Basins. Lawrence, KS: Allen Press: 46-68. Chapter 2.
Description: Selection of species of concern is a critical early step in conducting broad-scale ecological assessments for conservation planning and management. Many criteria can be used to guide this selection, such as conservation status, existing knowledge base, and association with plant communities of interest. In conducting the Wyoming Basins Ecoregional Assessment (WBEA), we followed a step-wise process to select vascular plant and vertebrate species of concern. Based on our selection process, we identified 65 taxa of sagebrush-associated (Artemisia spp.) vascular plants of conservation concern. The vast majority were forbs, and nearly all are found in Wyoming (n = 59; 91%), reflecting its central location and spatial dominance (51%) of the study area. Forty-eight plants (74%) were ranked either S1 or S2 (state-level ranks indicating imperilment due to rarity, threats, or other factors) in at least one state within the assessment area. Forty vertebrates of concern were selected for our assessment, including 17 mammals, 18 birds, and 4 reptiles. Among these were 7 vertebrates commonly considered sagebrush-obligate species: sagebrush lizard (Sceloporus graciosus), greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus), sage thrasher (Oreoscoptes montanus), sage sparrow (Amphispiza belli), Brewer’s sparrow (Spizella breweri), pronghorn (Antilocapra americana), and pygmy rabbit (Brachylagus idahoensis). Several vertebrate species of concern in the Wyoming Basins are either rare or imperiled, including black-footed ferret (Mustela nigripes) and Wyoming pocket gopher (Thomomys clusius).
Keywords: ecoregional assessment, sagebrush ecosystem, species of conservation concern, species selection, terrestrial vertebrates, vascular plants, Wyoming Basins.
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Rowland, M.M.; Suring, L.H.; Leu, M.; Knick, S.T.; Wisdom, M.J. 2011. Sagebrush-associated species of conservation concern. In: Hanser, S.E.; Leu, M.; Knick, S.T.; Aldridge, C.L., eds. Sagebrush ecosystem conservation and management: ecoregional assessment tools and models for the Wyoming Basins. Lawrence, KS: Allen Press: 46-68. Chapter 2.
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