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Greater Sage-GrouseEcology and Conservation of a Landscape Species and Its Habitats$
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Steven Knick

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780520267114

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520267114.001.0001

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West Nile Virus Ecology in Sagebrush Habitat and Impacts on Greater Sage-Grouse Populations

West Nile Virus Ecology in Sagebrush Habitat and Impacts on Greater Sage-Grouse Populations

(p.127) Chapter Nine West Nile Virus Ecology in Sagebrush Habitat and Impacts on Greater Sage-Grouse Populations
Greater Sage-Grouse

Brett L. Walker

David E. Naugle

University of California Press

This chapter examines the ecology of West Nile virus in sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) ecosystems of western North America, as well as its influence on Greater Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) mortality and survival. Using demographic models, it also discusses potential impacts on population growth and recommends strategies for managing and monitoring such impacts. West Nile virus can simultaneously reduce juvenile, yearling, and adult survival — three vital rates important for population growth in this species — and persistent low-level West Nile virus mortality and severe outbreaks may lead to local and regional population declines. West Nile virus mortality in simulations was projected to reduce population growth. However, marked spatial and annual fluctuations in nest success, chick survival, and other sources of adult mortality are likely to mask population-level impacts in most years. Eliminating mosquito breeding habitat from anthropogenic water sources is crucial for reducing impacts. Better data are needed on geographic and temporal variation in infection rates, mortality, and seroprevalence range-wide.

Keywords:   Centrocercus urophasianus, Greater Sage-Grouse, mortality, sagebrush, survival, West Nile virus, Artemisia, population growth, mosquito breeding, seroprevalence

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