Centrocercus urophasianus 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Galliformes Phasianidae

Scientific Name: Centrocercus urophasianus (Bonaparte, 1827)
Common Name(s):
English Sage Grouse, Greater Sage Grouse, Greater Sage-Grouse, Sage Grouse
Taxonomic Source(s): del Hoyo, J., Collar, N.J., Christie, D.A., Elliott, A. and Fishpool, L.D.C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Volume 1: Non-passerines. Lynx Edicions BirdLife International, Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge, UK.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2016-10-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S. & Symes, A.
Contributor(s): Butcher, G., Holloran, M., Rosenberg, K. & Wells, J.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Bird, J., Harding, M., Pople, R., Taylor, J.
This species is listed as Near Threatened owing to a continuing and moderately rapid decline in its population.

Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Centrocercus urophasianus inhabits the shrubland ecosystems of south-eastern Canada (Alberta and Saskatchewan) and western USA (Washington, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Idaho, Oregon, California, Nevada, Utah and Colorado) (del Hoyo et al. 1994, Schroeder et al. 1999). Although the accurate estimation of trends is difficult, the range-wide breeding population was estimated as 142,000 individuals in 1998, clearly lower than historic levels (Braun 1998), and decline rates have been estimated at 50% or higher since 1966 (J. Wells and K. Rosenberg in litt. 2003).

Countries occurrence:
Canada; United States
Additional data:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):NoEstimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:2070000
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO):UnknownExtreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO):No
Continuing decline in number of locations:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations:No
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:There are estimated to be c.150,000 mature individuals (Rich et al. 2004).

Trend Justification:  The Partners In Flight Technical Committee has estimated this species's global trend as a more than 50% decline over c.40 years, a rate that would equate to a decline of c.20% or more per decade.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:150000Continuing decline of mature individuals:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations:NoPopulation severely fragmented:No
Continuing decline in subpopulations:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations:NoAll individuals in one subpopulation:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:It is closely associated with sagebrush Artemesia habitats during the breeding and non-breeding seasons, although some populations do undergo seasonal movements (del Hoyo et al. 1994, Schroeder et al. 1999). It is a lekking species. It may act as an umbrella to other sage-brush specialists when conserved.

Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Unknown
Generation Length (years):5.2
Movement patterns:Not a Migrant

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Immense areas of its habitat have been cleared or degraded due to cultivation (for wheat, potatoes and other crops), burning and overgrazing, and the species has been extirpated from various parts of its former range (British Columbia, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Arizona) (Schroeder et al. 1999). Continuing development of natural gas resources is causing reduced lek attendance and overall population (Holloran and Anderson 2005). Coyote Canis latrans control is likely to have a detrimental impact on sage grouse owing to the loss of beneficial indirect interactions (Mezquida et al. 2006). In 2003, about 25% of the radio-marked sage-grouse in the Powder River Basin died from West Nile virus. That number dropped to 10% in 2004 and 2% in 2005 in response to cool summer temperatures, but the long-term impacts require further study. There have been large-scale losses of sagebrush habitat owing to changes in fire frequencies resulting from cheatgrass proliferation (Holloran in litt. 2007).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
The species occurs within a number of protected areas and has been the focus of extensive ecological study. Management recommendations have been made to minimise the impacts of natural gas exploitation in sagebrush habitat (Holloran and Anderson 2005) and the Western Governor's Association are developing a strategy to minimise the impacts of development on sage grouse populations. A total of 63 Sage Grouse Local Working Groups have been established within its range, bringing stakeholders together to plan and implement local level conservation actions.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Adopt best practice methods when developing gas fields. Continue to monitor population trends. Manage the sage-brush ecosystem in a way that is beneficial to other habitat specialists and restores natural food-webs.

Citation: BirdLife International. 2016. Centrocercus urophasianus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T22679503A92816586. . Downloaded on 22 July 2018.
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