Greater Sage-Grouse, Mono Basin Sage Grouse
'Warranted but Precluded' from Protection under ESA
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service determined that greater sage-grouse and
Mono Basin sage-grouse were "warranted, but precluded" for listing as "threatened" or "endangered" under
the Endangered Species Act in March 2010. The greater sage-grouse and Mono Basin sage grouse
are now candidate species under the Act.
Sage-grouse are a striking and charismatic bird
that lives in sagebrush-steppe. First
described by Lewis and Clark in 1805, nineteenth century travelers
and settlers reported seeing huge flocks of sage-grouse that darkened
the sky as they lifted from valley floors.
The historic range of greater sage-grouse closely conformed to the distribution
of sagebrush in what became thirteen western states and three Canadian
provinces. However, since 1900 sage-grouse populations have declined.
Greater sage-grouse distribution has decreased by half, while rangewide
abundance has been reduced between 69-99 percent.
The sage-grouse are both an indicator and umbrella species for the Sagebrush
Sea. The Sagebrush Sea Campaign and partners have
sought to protect sage-grouse and their habitat for almost ten years.
Sagebrush Sea Booklet
Sagebrush Sea Campaign has published a twenty-page color booklet describing
the geography, ecology, flora and fauna, uses and abuses of the Sagebrush
Shrinking Sagebrush Sea
Energy development, livestock grazing,
and cheatgrass affect more than 80 percent of sage-grouse habitat,
while less than three percent of sage-grouse range benefits from some
level of federal protection.
Expert recommendations designed to increase
sage-grouse abundance by 33 percent by 2015 and increase sage-grouse
distribution by 20 percent by 2030.