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Annotated bibliography of scientific research on Gunnison sage-grouse published from January 2005 to September 2022

September 29, 2023

Integrating recent scientific knowledge into management decisions supports effective natural resource management and can lead to better resource outcomes. However, finding and accessing scientific knowledge can be time consuming and costly. To assist in this process, the U.S. Geological Survey is creating a series of annotated bibliographies on topics of management concern for western lands. Previously published reports introduced a methodology for preparing annotated bibliographies to facilitate the integration of recent, peer-reviewed science into resource management decisions. Therefore, relevant text from those efforts is reproduced here to frame the presentation. Centrocercus minimus (Gunnison sage-grouse; hereafter GUSG) has been a focus of scientific investigation since the early 2000s. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service listed GUSG as threatened under the Endangered Species Act in 2014 because of declining populations and increasing habitat loss. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, and Colorado Parks and Wildlife have sought to increase the conservation of this species by adapting management and recovery plans to reduce threats and increase population resiliency. GUSG are studied less than the closely related Centrocercus urophasianus (greater sage-grouse); however, research efforts have recently increased to understand the life history, genetics, and habitat suitability of this sagebrush-obligate species. We compiled and summarized peer-reviewed journal articles, data products, and formal technical reports (such as U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service General Technical Reports and U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Reports) on GUSG, published between January 2005 and September 2022. We first systematically searched three reference databases and three government databases using the following search phrases: “Gunnison sage-grouse” or “lesser sage-grouse” or “Gunnison grouse” or “Gunnison sage grouse” or “lesser sage grouse” or “Centrocercus minimus.” We refined the initial list of products by removing (1) duplicates, (2) publications that were not published as research, data products, or scientific review articles in peer-reviewed journals or as formal technical reports, and (3) products that did not have GUSG as a research focus or products that did not present new data or findings about GUSG. We summarized each product using a consistent structure (background, objectives, methods, location, findings, and implications) and identified the management topics (for example, population estimates or targets, habitat, and management efforts) addressed by each product. We also noted which publications included new geospatial data. The review process for this annotated bibliography included two initial internal colleague reviews of each summary, requesting input on each summary from an author of the original publication, and a formal peer review. Our initial searches resulted in 80 total products, of which 63 met our criteria for inclusion of which 53 were products that had not been summarized before. Across products summarized in the annotated bibliography, broad-scale habitat characteristics; population estimates or targets; behavior or demographics; and genetics were the most commonly addressed management topics. The bibliographies are available on the Science for Resource Managers tool ( and are searchable by topic, location, and year, and the search tool includes links to each original publication. The studies compiled and summarized in this annotated bibliography may inform planning and management actions that seek to maintain and restore sagebrush landscapes and GUSG populations across the GUSG range.

Publication Year 2023
Title Annotated bibliography of scientific research on Gunnison sage-grouse published from January 2005 to September 2022
DOI 10.3133/ofr20231079
Authors Logan M. Maxwell, Elisabeth C. Teige, Samuel E. Jordan, Tait K. Rutherford, Ella M. Samuel, Lea B. Selby, Alison C. Foster, Nathan J. Kleist, Sarah K. Carter
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Open-File Report
Series Number 2023-1079
Index ID ofr20231079
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Fort Collins Science Center