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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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Factors Associated with Extirpation of Sage-Grouse

Factors Associated with Extirpation of Sage-Grouse

(p.451) Chapter Eighteen Factors Associated with Extirpation of Sage-Grouse
Greater Sage-Grouse

Michael J. Wisdom

Cara W. Meinke

Steven T. Knick

Michael A. Schroeder

University of California Press

Geographic ranges of Greater Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) and Gunnison Sage-Grouse (C. minimus) have contracted across large areas in response to habitat loss and detrimental land uses. However, quantitative analyses of the environmental factors most closely associated with range contraction have been lacking, results of which could be highly relevant to conservation planning. This study analyzed differences in twenty-two environmental variables between areas of former range (extirpated range), and areas still occupied by the two species (occupied range). Fifteen of the twenty-two variables, representing a broad spectrum of biotic, abiotic, and anthropogenic conditions, had mean values that were significantly different between extirpated and occupied ranges. Best discrimination between extirpated and occupied ranges, using discriminant function analysis (DFA), was provided by five of these variables: sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) area, elevation, distance to transmission lines, distance to cellular towers, and land ownership. The DFA model was used to estimate the similarity between areas of occupied range with areas where extirpation has occurred. These results have direct relevance to conservation planning.

Keywords:   extirpated range, extirpation, Greater Sage-Grouse, range contraction, sagebrush, occupied range, elevation, land ownership, transmission lines, conservation planning

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