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Title: Greater sage-grouse winter habitat selection and energy development

Abstract

Recent energy development has resulted in rapid and large-scale changes to western shrub-steppe ecosystems without a complete understanding of its potential impacts on wildlife populations. We modeled winter habitat use by female greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) in the Powder River Basin (PRB) of Wyoming and Montana, USA, to 1) identify landscape features that influenced sage-grouse habitat selection, 2) assess the scale at which selection occurred, 3) spatially depict winter habitat quality in a Geographic Information System, and 4) assess the effect of coal-bed natural gas (CBNG) development on winter habitat selection. We developed a model of winter habitat selection based on 435 aerial relocations of 200 radiomarked female sage-grouse obtained during the winters of 2005 and 2006. Percent sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) cover on the landscape was an important predictor of use by sage-grouse in winter. Sage-grouse were 1.3 times more likely to occupy sagebrush habitats that lacked CBNG wells within a 4-km{sup 2} area, compared to those that had the maximum density of 12.3 wells per 4 km{sup 2} allowed on federal lands. We validated the model with 74 locations from 74 radiomarked individuals obtained during the winters of 2004 and 2007. This winter habitat model based on vegetation, topography,more » and CBNG avoidance was highly predictive (validation R{sup 2} = 0.984). Our spatially explicit model can be used to identify areas that provide the best remaining habitat for wintering sage-grouse in the PRB to mitigate impacts of energy development.« less

Authors:
; ; ;  [1]
  1. University of Montana, Missoula, MT (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
21004998
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
Journal of Wildlife Management
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 72; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 0022-541X
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
01 COAL, LIGNITE, AND PEAT; ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS; NATURAL GAS WELLS; METHANE; COAL SEAMS; BIRDS; ENERGY SOURCE DEVELOPMENT; HABITAT; USA; POWDER RIVER BASIN; WYOMING; MONTANA; TOPOGRAPHY; PLANTS

Citation Formats

Doherty, K E, Naugle, D E, Walker, B L, and Graham, J M. Greater sage-grouse winter habitat selection and energy development. United States: N. p., 2008. Web. doi:10.2193/2006-454.
Doherty, K E, Naugle, D E, Walker, B L, & Graham, J M. Greater sage-grouse winter habitat selection and energy development. United States. doi:10.2193/2006-454.
Doherty, K E, Naugle, D E, Walker, B L, and Graham, J M. Tue . "Greater sage-grouse winter habitat selection and energy development". United States. doi:10.2193/2006-454.
@article{osti_21004998,
title = {Greater sage-grouse winter habitat selection and energy development},
author = {Doherty, K E and Naugle, D E and Walker, B L and Graham, J M},
abstractNote = {Recent energy development has resulted in rapid and large-scale changes to western shrub-steppe ecosystems without a complete understanding of its potential impacts on wildlife populations. We modeled winter habitat use by female greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) in the Powder River Basin (PRB) of Wyoming and Montana, USA, to 1) identify landscape features that influenced sage-grouse habitat selection, 2) assess the scale at which selection occurred, 3) spatially depict winter habitat quality in a Geographic Information System, and 4) assess the effect of coal-bed natural gas (CBNG) development on winter habitat selection. We developed a model of winter habitat selection based on 435 aerial relocations of 200 radiomarked female sage-grouse obtained during the winters of 2005 and 2006. Percent sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) cover on the landscape was an important predictor of use by sage-grouse in winter. Sage-grouse were 1.3 times more likely to occupy sagebrush habitats that lacked CBNG wells within a 4-km{sup 2} area, compared to those that had the maximum density of 12.3 wells per 4 km{sup 2} allowed on federal lands. We validated the model with 74 locations from 74 radiomarked individuals obtained during the winters of 2004 and 2007. This winter habitat model based on vegetation, topography, and CBNG avoidance was highly predictive (validation R{sup 2} = 0.984). Our spatially explicit model can be used to identify areas that provide the best remaining habitat for wintering sage-grouse in the PRB to mitigate impacts of energy development.},
doi = {10.2193/2006-454},
journal = {Journal of Wildlife Management},
issn = {0022-541X},
number = 1,
volume = 72,
place = {United States},
year = {2008},
month = {1}
}