Science to Solutions: Sage Grouse Need Intact Landscapes For Long- Distance Movement Public Deposited


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  • Two new studies revealed unknown long-distance dispersal and migration movements in sage grouse that offer fresh insights for conservation. Using DNA from feathers dropped at leks, scientists discovered that some grouse (about 1% of populations) travel long distances to explore breeding areas up to 120 miles away—movements that can potentially boost populations and temper inbreeding. A separate satellite-telemetry study of sage grouse that migrate between Saskatchewan and Montana found that this population migrates annually up to 150 miles roundtrip between seasonal ranges. During migration, grouse use pathways through intact habitat and rest and refuel at stopover sites. Taken together, these findings underscore the need to conserve intact sagebrush habitats across large landscapes on both public and private lands to sustain sage grouse movement pathways, their populations, and genetic diversity.
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  • Sage Grouse Initiative. 2017. Sage Grouse Need Intact Landscapes For Long-Distance Movement. Science to Solutions Series Number 13. Sage Grouse Initiative. 4pp.
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