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Sage-grouse habitat selection during winter in Alberta

January 1, 2010

Greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) are dependent on sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) for food and shelter during winter, yet few studies have assessed winter habitat selection, particularly at scales applicable to conservation planning. Small changes to availability of winter habitats have caused drastic reductions in some sage-grouse populations. We modeled winter habitat selection by sage-grouse in Alberta, Canada, by using a resource selection function. Our purpose was to 1) generate a robust winter habitat-selection model for Alberta sage-grouse; 2) spatially depict habitat suitability in a Geographic Information System to identify areas with a high probability of selection and thus, conservation importance; and 3) assess the relative influence of human development, including oil and gas wells, in landscape models of winter habitat selection. Terrain and vegetation characteristics, sagebrush cover, anthropogenic landscape features, and energy development were important in top Akaike's Information Criterionselected models. During winter, sage-grouse selected dense sagebrush cover and homogenous less rugged areas, and avoided energy development and 2-track truck trails. Sage-grouse avoidance of energy development highlights the need for comprehensive management strategies that maintain suitable habitats across all seasons. ?? 2010 The Wildlife Society.

Publication Year 2010
Title Sage-grouse habitat selection during winter in Alberta
DOI 10.2193/2009-368
Authors Jennifer L. Carpenter, Cameron L. Aldridge, Mark S. Boyce
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Journal of Wildlife Management
Index ID 70037626
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse