science

We provide scientific reports, project profiles, technical tools, videos, photos, field guides, and links that tell the story of how cooperative conservation is making a difference for working lands and wildlife across the West.

New Science Backs WLFW’s Biome-Wide Conservation Approach
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New Science Backs WLFW’s Biome-Wide Conservation Approach

Research shows that WLFW's updated approach to conserving intact working landscapes produces better conservation results than focusing on a single ...
New “Pocket Guide” Provides Unified Planning Process for Reducing Woody Encroachment in Grasslands
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New “Pocket Guide” Provides Unified Planning Process for Reducing Woody Encroachment in Grasslands

New pocket guide details conservation planning guidelines for reducing woody encroachment in ...
New science incorporates genetics and connectivity into sage grouse conservation
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New science incorporates genetics and connectivity into sage grouse conservation

New research adds connectivity to sage grouse conservation strategies, opening new opportunities for conserving travel pathways that facilitate gene flow among sage grouse ...
Getting Ahead of Large Rangeland Fires in the Great Basin
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Getting Ahead of Large Rangeland Fires in the Great Basin

Join Joe Smith and Jeremy Maestas for a discussion about new, annual fire-prediction maps for the Great Basin and what they mean for managing for wildfire in ...
Publication Alert: Large-scale fire management restores grassland bird richness
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Publication Alert: Large-scale fire management restores grassland bird richness

Research from the Loess Canyons Experimental Landscape shows that strategic use of prescribed fire boosts grassland species ...
Publication Alert: Annual Invasive Grasses Spreading Through Great Basin to Higher Elevations and Northern Aspects
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Publication Alert: Annual Invasive Grasses Spreading Through Great Basin to Higher Elevations and Northern Aspects

Working Lands for Wildlife research is showing that annual invasive grasses are moving up in elevation and to more northern aspects throughout the Great ...
Publication: Habitat Preferred by Sage Grouse Increases Six-Fold Following Tree Removal
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Publication: Habitat Preferred by Sage Grouse Increases Six-Fold Following Tree Removal

A long-term study from Oregon shows strategic tree removal boots sage grouse use of habitat as compared to areas where no trees were ...
A Decade of Science Support in the Sagebrush Biome
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A Decade of Science Support in the Sagebrush Biome

A new report summarizes - in one place - more than a decade of WLFW science support that NRCS staff and partners can incorporate into their future ...
The Science Behind WLFW’s Riparian and Wet Meadow Restoration
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The Science Behind WLFW’s Riparian and Wet Meadow Restoration

Working Lands for Wildlife researchers and scientists have spent years researching how sage grouse use the West's mesic habitats, how best to restore those habitats, and ...
Ask an Expert | The Science Behind Private Lands Conservation: A Conversation with Dr. David Naugle, Working Lands for Wildlife Science Advisor
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Ask an Expert | The Science Behind Private Lands Conservation: A Conversation with Dr. David Naugle, Working Lands for Wildlife Science Advisor

Learn more about WLFW's approach to science, how the coproduction of science benefits private-lands conservation and what's next for the Western WLFW science ...
Quantifying Outcomes Improves Conservation Effectiveness
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Quantifying Outcomes Improves Conservation Effectiveness

Since 2012, Working Lands for Wildlife has partnered with the Conservation Effects Assessment Project to co-produce 37 peer-reviewed studies that measure conservation ...
Cutting to the Chase: Long-Term Success of Conifer Removal Depends on Both Cutting and Burning
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Cutting to the Chase: Long-Term Success of Conifer Removal Depends on Both Cutting and Burning

Ask an Expert | How to use cutting and burning to most effectively restore sagebrush ecosystems experiencing conifer ...
Sage Grouse Populations Grow When Conifers are Removed
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Sage Grouse Populations Grow When Conifers are Removed

Ask an Expert - Andrew Olsen explains his research that shows sage grouse populations rise 12% following sustained and targeted conifer ...
Watch Working Lands For Wildlife Presentations from 2019 Society for Range Management Conference
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Watch Working Lands For Wildlife Presentations from 2019 Society for Range Management Conference

Working Lands for Wildlife video presentations from the 2019 Society for Range Management Conference featuring new technologies that can help improve rangeland management in ...
Conserving Diverse Wet Habitats Keeps Western Rangelands Resilient
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Conserving Diverse Wet Habitats Keeps Western Rangelands Resilient

New research highlights the importance of mesic resources for sage grouse and other wildlife ...
How Can Emerging Technology Help Conserve Rangeland?
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How Can Emerging Technology Help Conserve Rangeland?

Research scientist Dr. Matthew Jones explains how cloud computing and machine learning are changing the way we visualize and manage ...
Grazed Rangelands Produce Sage Grouse Chicks’ Preferred Food
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Grazed Rangelands Produce Sage Grouse Chicks’ Preferred Food

New research shows that grazing lands grow more bugs for birds to ...
Low-Tech Riparian And Meadow Restoration Keeps Rangelands Greener Longer
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Low-Tech Riparian And Meadow Restoration Keeps Rangelands Greener Longer

New research shows low-tech restoration methods increased vegetation productivity by 25% and kept plants greener longer, resulting in greater ...
NEW SCIENCE | Middle Ground Found On The Range
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NEW SCIENCE | Middle Ground Found On The Range

New research shows grazing access to public lands in the western U.S. can be good for ranching and ...
Lessons & Photos from SGI’s 8th Annual Workshop: Combating Wildfire & Weeds
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Lessons & Photos from SGI’s 8th Annual Workshop: Combating Wildfire & Weeds

The 2018 SGI field tour and presentations focused on cooperative, science-based conservation that's working to thwart fire and invasives in sagebrush ...
NEW SCIENCE: Visualizing Sage Grouse Habitat As “Hubs & Spokes”
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NEW SCIENCE: Visualizing Sage Grouse Habitat As “Hubs & Spokes”

New research helps prioritize sage grouse conservation by ranking the importance of leks to the species' overall genetic connectivity across the range, likening certain areas ...
Harnessing Technology Improves Conservation Effectiveness
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Harnessing Technology Improves Conservation Effectiveness

Innovative Web App increases conservation effectiveness on working lands in the American West by matching the right practices to the right places using emerging science and ...
30 Videos Now Available on Science & Management in Sagebrush Country
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30 Videos Now Available on Science & Management in Sagebrush Country

View free, on-demand replays on YouTube of educational presentations about the science and management of sagebrush ...
New Online Tool Shows Songbird Abundance Across Sagebrush Country
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New Online Tool Shows Songbird Abundance Across Sagebrush Country

Check out the latest map additions to the SGI Web App, which allow users to easily visualize songbird distribution, bolstering multi-species conservation across the American ...
FAIR CHASE Magazine | The Value of Sagebrush Country
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FAIR CHASE Magazine | The Value of Sagebrush Country

by Josh Millspaugh | This feature in the December 2017 issue of Fair Chase Magazine highlights how sage grouse conservation benefits hunters and a host of wildlife ...
Taking the Bias Out of Sage Grouse Nesting Studies
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Taking the Bias Out of Sage Grouse Nesting Studies

This new Science to Solutions shows that grass height may not be as crucial to nesting success as previously thought, since hatched nests are measured later than failed ...
New Science: When Trees Are Cut, Grasses & Shrubs Return
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New Science: When Trees Are Cut, Grasses & Shrubs Return

Research shows that conifers decrease the native sagebrush grasses and shrubs that wildlife and livestock rely on, and confirms that forage comes back when trees are ...
Journal Of Wildlife Management Study: Grazing Shows Little Effect On Grouse Nesting
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Journal Of Wildlife Management Study: Grazing Shows Little Effect On Grouse Nesting

by David Frey, for The Wildlife Society | A study in Montana found livestock grazing management doesn’t have as strong a link with sage grouse nest success as previously ...
BEEF Magazine | Rest-Rotation Grazing Helps Sage Grouse Survival
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BEEF Magazine | Rest-Rotation Grazing Helps Sage Grouse Survival

Pastures that use Sage Grouse Initiative rest-rotation grazing programs produce plentiful bugs, which is a good deal for cattle and sage grouse ...
Webinar: Estimating The Economic Impact Of Sage Grouse Conservation On Ranches
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Webinar: Estimating The Economic Impact Of Sage Grouse Conservation On Ranches

When: Friday, September 29, 2017  |  10:00 AM MST Host: University of Wyoming Watch the On-Demand Replay ...
New Framework Helps Plan Next Generation Of Sagebrush Restoration
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New Framework Helps Plan Next Generation Of Sagebrush Restoration

Innovative new research on conifer removal spans the life cycle of sage grouse, helping managers increase the efficiency of future work to restore sagebrush ...
Latest Science Reveals Most Effective Conifer Removal Treatments
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Latest Science Reveals Most Effective Conifer Removal Treatments

New research on conifer cutting and prescribed burning helps resource managers and landowners plan sagebrush conservation projects that deliver the best results for the bird ...
How Do We Find (And Protect) Precious Wet Places In The West?
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How Do We Find (And Protect) Precious Wet Places In The West?

Mesic areas comprise only 1-2% of the western landscape, but 80% of animals depend on them -- including sage grouse and livestock. Learn why they're important and how to ...
New Science: Sage Grouse Population Increases When Western Juniper Pushed Back
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New Science: Sage Grouse Population Increases When Western Juniper Pushed Back

A new study funded in part by the NRCS-led Sage Grouse Initiative found that survival rates of both female sage grouse and their nests increased where encroaching juniper ...
New USFWS Collaboration Expands Science Tools To Sage-Steppe
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New USFWS Collaboration Expands Science Tools To Sage-Steppe

Thanks to partners like the USFWS, the outlook is brighter for maintaining intact, healthy sagebrush habitat for 350+ species and the hundreds of communities that depend on ...
Sage Grouse Need Intact Landscapes For Long-Distance Movement
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Sage Grouse Need Intact Landscapes For Long-Distance Movement

New science shows that keeping big landscapes healthy and connected is essential for maintaining bigger-than-expected sage grouse ...
Now Available! Online Replay Of Scientific Presentations On Woodland Expansion
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Now Available! Online Replay Of Scientific Presentations On Woodland Expansion

Watch free 20-minute presentations featuring the latest science on how removing invading conifers boosts water availability, forage production, and grouse ...
Brave Sage Grouse Strike Out Solo Over Long Distances
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Brave Sage Grouse Strike Out Solo Over Long Distances

New research shows that a few individual greater sage-grouse travel more widely travel than anyone suspected, which makes the overall population ...
Conifer Removal Boosts Sage Grouse Success
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Conifer Removal Boosts Sage Grouse Success

New research shows that 86% of hens avoided nesting in sagebrush habitat invaded by conifers. Luckily, the studies also show that removing conifers in otherwise high-quality ...
Rangeland Science Journal Publishes Special Issue On Reducing Woodland Expansion
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Rangeland Science Journal Publishes Special Issue On Reducing Woodland Expansion

The latest research -- published in this month's special issue of SRM's Rangeland Ecology & Management science journal -- shows the benefits of removing conifers for grouse, ...
A New Approach For Turning Science Into Action
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A New Approach For Turning Science Into Action

Learn more about the "coproduction of actionable science." At the Sage Grouse Initiative, it means a lot of phone calls, coffee chats, field tours, and honest conversations ...
New Research Finds That Sage Grouse Prefer Nesting In Conifer-Free Landscapes
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New Research Finds That Sage Grouse Prefer Nesting In Conifer-Free Landscapes

Scientists tracked sage grouse nest success in southern Oregon, and found that hens avoided sites where conifer cover exceeded 3% within 800m of their ...
Tag, you’re it! How do researchers track sage grouse chicks?
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Tag, you’re it! How do researchers track sage grouse chicks?

Meet expert Mark Szczypinski with Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks. He tells us all about how to track sage grouse hens and their ...
Realizing “The True Potential” For Working Lands And Wildlife In Sagebrush Country
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Realizing “The True Potential” For Working Lands And Wildlife In Sagebrush Country

The NRCS-led Sage Grouse Initiative continues to build field capacity, expand our science team, and strengthen partnerships across the sagebrush landscape. Read our latest ...
Sagebrush Songbirds Under the Sage Grouse Umbrella
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Sagebrush Songbirds Under the Sage Grouse Umbrella

New songbird maps provide tools to help expand the benefits of sage grouse conservation to more wildlife species in the sagebrush community. Learn more from our latest Science ...
New Research Provides Insights into Sage Grouse DNA
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New Research Provides Insights into Sage Grouse DNA

by Jennifer Hayes and Brianna Randall | New SGI research finds five genetic subpopulations of sage grouse in Montana and the Dakotas, which are synonymous with the existing ...
What’s The Difference Between Gunnison And Greater Sage-Grouse?
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What’s The Difference Between Gunnison And Greater Sage-Grouse?

Did you know that Gunnison sage-grouse have longer ponytails than greater sage-grouse? Learn more about the differences between the two species from expert Marcella Fremgen, a ...
Report: Fence Markers Work To Prevent Sage Grouse Collisions
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Report: Fence Markers Work To Prevent Sage Grouse Collisions

A new report released by the Bird Conservancy of the Rockies -- and funded by an NRCS Conservation Innovation Grant -- is the first study aimed at evaluating the efficacy of ...
New Web-Based Tool Helps Save Sage Grouse From Fence Collisions
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New Web-Based Tool Helps Save Sage Grouse From Fence Collisions

SGI's interactive web app now features a map layer that helps land managers prioritize where to mark high-risk fences to protect birds. This user-friendly tool allows ranchers ...
Scientific Research Shows How To Reduce The Risk Of Crop Cultivation To Protect Sage Grouse
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Scientific Research Shows How To Reduce The Risk Of Crop Cultivation To Protect Sage Grouse

A new scientific study published in Biological Conservation explains how to reduce the threat of converting native sagebrush habitat into crops. Read how the research can be ...
Getting Our Hands Dirty at the 6th Annual Sage Grouse Initiative Workshop Tour
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Getting Our Hands Dirty at the 6th Annual Sage Grouse Initiative Workshop Tour

Last week, range managers, ecologists, and wildlife biologists gathered in Montana to learn from landowners what works for the bird and the herd. Check out the photo story ...
Map Layer Identifies Risk of Converting Sagebrush to Cropland
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Map Layer Identifies Risk of Converting Sagebrush to Cropland

Today, the Sage Grouse Initiative is unveiling a new layer on our interactive web application that shows where the risk of cropland conversion is highest. The new "cultivation ...
New Science: Conifer Removal Restores Habitat for Lesser Prairie Chickens
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New Science: Conifer Removal Restores Habitat for Lesser Prairie Chickens

Conifer encroachment spells bad news for birds that need intact, wide open spaces--sage grouse and lesser prairie-chickens included. This new report released by our partner, ...
CSU Researcher’s Work Boosts Sage Grouse Conservation Project
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CSU Researcher’s Work Boosts Sage Grouse Conservation Project

by Mary Guiden | “The new web app and map make sure people on the ground have the best science," says Dave Naugle, SGI Science ...
New Research + Movie: Wet Habitats On Private Lands Critical For Sage Grouse
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New Research + Movie: Wet Habitats On Private Lands Critical For Sage Grouse

A new study and a complementary video of two hens' summer movements show that wet islands of green in the sagebrush sea provide vital foraging habitat for growing sage grouse ...
The Progressive Rancher | Science and Tech Bolster USDA, Partners’ Conservation Work in Western States
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The Progressive Rancher | Science and Tech Bolster USDA, Partners’ Conservation Work in Western States

by Heather Emmons | The Progressive Rancher published the following story about the Sage Grouse Initiative's new interactive web application in its March 2016 issue. Read on ...
SGI Unveils Interactive Web Application To Bolster Wildlife Conservation Work
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SGI Unveils Interactive Web Application To Bolster Wildlife Conservation Work

Today, the Sage Grouse Initiative is unveiling a new tool to catalyze and improve habitat conservation efforts across the western United States. The free SGI Interactive Web ...
Seeding Big Sagebrush Successfully on Intermountain Rangelands
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Seeding Big Sagebrush Successfully on Intermountain Rangelands

By Susan E. Meyer and Thomas W. Warren | This fact sheet provides land managers with state-of-the-art information on establishing big sagebrush through direct seeding, ...
The Sage-Grouse’s Next Dance | What the Recent Decision Means for the Bird and Conservation
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The Sage-Grouse’s Next Dance | What the Recent Decision Means for the Bird and Conservation

By Holly Copeland. “So what is your take on the sage-grouse ruling?” This beautiful dancing bird has been in my thoughts almost daily for the past nine years, as it has ...
Sagebrush Songbirds Benefit from Sage Grouse Habitat Restoration
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Sagebrush Songbirds Benefit from Sage Grouse Habitat Restoration

New research released as part of the Sage Grouse Initiative's Science to Solutions series shows that restoring sagebrush ecosystems not only benefits ranching and sage grouse ...
Sage Grouse Conservation Leaders Recognized in California & Nevada
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Sage Grouse Conservation Leaders Recognized in California & Nevada

This month, SGI and SWAT staff gathered together on the California-Nevada border to share notes, and learn from the unprecedented conservation efforts centered around the ...
New Report | Sage Grouse Populations On the Rise
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New Report | Sage Grouse Populations On the Rise

According to a new report by the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, the population of the greater sage-grouse has grown by nearly two-thirds since 2013 across ...
New Research Shows Grazing Plans Are Good for Grouse and for Bugs
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New Research Shows Grazing Plans Are Good for Grouse and for Bugs

Learn how Montana State University entomologist Hayes Goosey is studying "a mini-metropolis of arthropods" on five ranches in eastern Montana where the Sage Grouse Initiative ...
Dedicated Field Staff Make a Difference for Sage Grouse West-wide
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Dedicated Field Staff Make a Difference for Sage Grouse West-wide

SGI's Strategic Watershed Action Team’s dedicated and enthusiastic range conservationists, wildlife biologists, and natural resource specialists put in place plenty of ...
Reducing Cultivation of Grazing Lands Conserves Sage Grouse
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Reducing Cultivation of Grazing Lands Conserves Sage Grouse

In the northeast part of sage grouse range, 70% of the best habitat is privately owned-–and the single greatest threat in this region is cultivation of native sagebrush ...
New Science to Solutions Report: High-Resolution Maps Sharpen Focus On Sage Grouse Habitat
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New Science to Solutions Report: High-Resolution Maps Sharpen Focus On Sage Grouse Habitat

This new Science to Solutions report explains how a new technique called Earth Sense Technology (EST) is a cost-effective way to assesses range conditions throughout the West, ...
High-Res Maps Sharpen Focus on Sage Grouse Habitat
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High-Res Maps Sharpen Focus on Sage Grouse Habitat

Science to Solutions: High-Res Maps Sharpen Focus On Sage Grouse Habitat A new technique called Earth Sense Technology (EST) is ...
Sage Grouse Conservation Benefits Migratory Mule Deer
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Sage Grouse Conservation Benefits Migratory Mule Deer

This report shows how habitat conservation for sage grouse, considered an umbrella species, can also protect critical habitat for mule deer. Scientists found that sage grouse ...
Study Shows That Fence Markers Reduce Sage Grouse Mortality in Wyoming
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Study Shows That Fence Markers Reduce Sage Grouse Mortality in Wyoming

SGI and our partners have marked or moved 590 miles of high-risk fence to reduce bird collisions so that sage grouse can thrive in the sagebrush sea. Read on to see results of ...
Marking High-Risk Fences Saves Sage Grouse
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Marking High-Risk Fences Saves Sage Grouse

Marking fences for visibility can dramatically reduce sage grouse collisions. A new mapping tool can help managers and landowners target those fences that pose the highest ...
Wildfire and Cheatgrass: New Science Helps Reduce Threats to Sage Grouse
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Wildfire and Cheatgrass: New Science Helps Reduce Threats to Sage Grouse

Wildfires and the invasion of exotic annual grasses like cheatgrass can transform large expanses of sagebrush habitat, which is bad for sage grouse. This new strategy serves ...
Private Lands Vital to Conserving Wet Areas for Sage Grouse Summer Habitat
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Private Lands Vital to Conserving Wet Areas for Sage Grouse Summer Habitat

An impressive 85% of leks (sage grouse breeding areas) cluster within six miles of wet summer habitats. Successful sage grouse conservation will hinge on cooperative ...
Private Lands Vital to Conserving Wet Areas for Sage Grouse Summer Habitat
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Private Lands Vital to Conserving Wet Areas for Sage Grouse Summer Habitat

New sage grouse study reveals a strong link between wet sites (essential summer habitat for sage grouse to raise their broods) and sage grouse leks, and in turn, private ...
Predicting the Outcome of Wyoming’s Sage Grouse Conservation Strategy
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Predicting the Outcome of Wyoming’s Sage Grouse Conservation Strategy

This recent study by The Nature Conservancy, University of Wyoming and the Sage Grouse Initiative finds that Wyoming’s strategy, combined with targeted conservation ...
Predicting the Outcome of Wyoming’s Sage Grouse Conservation Strategy
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Predicting the Outcome of Wyoming’s Sage Grouse Conservation Strategy

Read the Press Release here. Download the PDF of the Science to Solutions report “Predicting the Outcome of Wyoming’s Sage Grouse ...
Conifer Removal Restores Sage Grouse Habitat
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Conifer Removal Restores Sage Grouse Habitat

Hundreds of thousands of acres of intact sagebrush lands--and the grouse that depend upon them--are threatened by invading conifers. SGI helps remove the threat to prevent ...
Science to Solution Series:  Marking High-Risk Fences Saves Sage Grouse
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Science to Solution Series: Marking High-Risk Fences Saves Sage Grouse

The Sage Grouse Initiative (SGI) regularly joins with its partners to fund and support science that is designed to help guide conservation solutions on the ground. Today, we ...
Technical Fact Sheet: Mapping Potential Ecosystem Resilience and Resistance for Sage Grouse
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Technical Fact Sheet: Mapping Potential Ecosystem Resilience and Resistance for Sage Grouse

Science Technical Fact Sheet: Mapping Potential Ecosystem Resilience and Resistance across Sage-Grouse Range using Soil Temperature and Moisture Regimes A recent ...