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Nesting habitat selection by sage grouse in south-central Washington

January 1, 1998

To characterize western sage grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus phaios Bonaparte) nesting habitat in sagebrush-steppe habitat in Washington, we initiated a study on the Yakima Training Center to determine nesting habitat characteristics and whether these characteristics differed between successful and depredated nests. Most nests (71%) were in big sagebrush (Artemesia tridentata Nutt.)/bunchgrass communities. Nest habitat was characterized by greater shrub cover, shrub height, vertical cover height, residual cover, and litter than at random locations. Successful 1-m2 nest sites within big sagebrush/bunchgrass in 1992 had less shrub cover (51%) and shrub height (64 cm) than depredated nest sites (70% and 90 cm, respectively). Successful 77-m2 nest areas in big sagebrush/bunchgrass in 1993 had more tall grass (≥ 18 cm) than depredated nest areas. Management that protects the big sagebrush/bunchgrass community is essential for maintaining nesting habitat for sage grouse.

Publication Year 1998
Title Nesting habitat selection by sage grouse in south-central Washington
DOI 10.2307/4003409
Authors C.M. Sveum, W.D. Edge, J.A. Crawford
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Journal of Range Management
Index ID 70020437
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse