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Title: Greater sage-grouse: general use and roost site occurrence with pellet counts as a measure of relative abundance

Author: Hanser, Steven E.; Aldridge, Cameron L.; Leu, Matthias; Rowland, Mary M.; Nielsen, Scott E.; Knick, Steven T.

Date: 2011

Source: Hanser, S.E.; Leu, M.; Knick, S.T.; Aldridge, Cameron L., eds. Sagebrush ecosystem conservation and management: ecoregional assessment tools and models for the Wyoming Basins. Lawrence, KS: Allen Press: 112-140. Chapter 5.

Publication Series: Book Chapter

Description: Greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) have been declining both spatially and numerically throughout their range because of anthropogenic disturbance and loss and fragmentation of sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) habitats. Understanding how sage-grouse respond to these habitat alterations and disturbances, particularly the types of disturbances and extent at which they respond, is critical to designing management actions and prioritizing areas of conservation. To address these needs, we developed statistical models of the relationships between occurrence and abundance of greater sage-grouse and multi-scaled measures of vegetation, abiotic, and disturbance in the Wyoming Basins Ecoregional Assessment (WBEA) area. Sage-grouse occurrence was strongly related to the amount of sagebrush within 1 km for both roost site and general use locations. Roost sites were identified by presence of sage-grouse fecal pellet groups whereas general use locations had single pellets. Proximity to anthropogenic disturbance including energy development, power lines, and major roads was negatively associated with sagegrouse occurrence. Models of sage-grouse occurrence correctly predicted active lek locations with >75% accuracy. Our spatially explicit models identified areas of high occurrence probability in the WBEA area that can be used to delineate areas for conservation and refine existing conservation plans. These models can also facilitate identification of pathways and corridors important for maintenance of sage-grouse population connectivity.

Keywords: abundance, anthropogenic disturbance, generalized ordered logistic regression, greater sage-grouse, habitat, occurrence.

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Hanser, Steven E.; Aldridge, Cameron L.; Leu, Matthias; Rowland, Mary M.; Nielsen, Scott E.; Knick, Steven T. 2011. Greater sage-grouse: general use and roost site occurrence with pellet counts as a measure of relative abundance. In: Hanser, S.E.; Leu, M.; Knick, S.T.; Aldridge, Cameron L., eds. Sagebrush ecosystem conservation and management: ecoregional assessment tools and models for the Wyoming Basins. Lawrence, KS: Allen Press: 112-140. Chapter 5.

 


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