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Gunnison sage-grouse habitat suitability of six satellite populations in southwestern Colorado: San Miguel, Crawford, Pinon Mesa, Dove Creek, Cerro Summit-Cimarron-Sims, and Poncha Pass

April 11, 2022

We developed habitat selection models for Gunnison sage-grouse (Centrocercus minimus), a threatened species under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. We followed a management-centric modeling approach that sought to balance the need to evaluate the consistency of key habitat conditions and improvement actions across multiple, distinct populations, while allowing context-specific environmental variables and spatial scales to nuance selection responses. Models were developed for six isolated satellite populations (San Miguel, Crawford, Pinon Mesa, Dove Creek, Cerro Summit-Cimarron-Sims, and Poncha Pass) from use locations collected between 1991 and 2016 (see larger citation for map of population boundaries). For each population, models were developed at two life stages (breeding and summer) and at two hierarchical scales (landscape and patch). We used multi-scale and seasonal resource selection analyses to quantify relationships between environmental conditions and sites used by animals. These resource selection function models relied on spatial data describing habitat conditions at different spatial scales, where environmental conditions differ, and habitat selection occur at different spatial scales for different available resources.

All models encompass the following satellite populations, seasons (life stages), and scales of resource selection:
Populations: San Miguel, Crawford, Pinon Mesa, Poncha Pass, Dove Creek and Cerro Summit-Cimarron-Sims
Seasons: Breeding (April 1 and July 15), Summer (July 16 and September 30)
Scales: Landscape, Patch
All models encompass the following satellite populations, seasons (life stages), and scales of resource selection:
Populations: San Miguel, Crawford, Pinon Mesa, Poncha Pass, Dove Creek and Cerro Summit-Cimarron-Sims
Seasons: Breeding (April 1 and July 15), Summer (July 16 and September 30)
Scales: Landscape, Patch