Sage-Grouse Habitat and Connectivity in a Changing Landscape and Climate

Full Title

Sage-Grouse Habitat and Connectivity in a Changing Landscape and Climate

Project Overview

The sage grouse is a threatened bird species inhabiting the sagebrush habitats of the western United States. This research aims to understand how the landscape and climate influence sage grouse habitat suitability and population viability in eastern Washington. Researchers are using genetic sampling techniques and occurrence data to model landscape permeability to movement and gene flow for sage grouse in the study area, and then applying those models to understand how landscape and climate change might affect the population in the future. As an example of how this work is being applied, researchers are using these models to predict the potential impacts of new transmission lines being constructed in the region, including how they might fragment the sage grouse population, reduce habitat area, and prevent the species from migrating over time to track their climate envelope. This research is designed to inform management and conservation at the landscape scale in order to maintain habitat connectivity and promote the long-term viability of the population in a changing landscape and climate.

Greater Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus)
Greater Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus)

 Key Personnel

* Indicates CIG Personnel or CIG Affiliate(s)

  • Andrew Shirk, University of Washington*
  • Michael Schroeder, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
  • Samuel Cushman, U.S. Forest Service

Key Collaborators

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife; U.S. Forest Service; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Bureau of Land Management


Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife; Great Northern Landscape Conservation Cooperative; U.S. Bureau of Land Management; U.S. Forest Service

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