NEWS

Sage grouse chick production declines in 2016

New data on the Wyoming sage grouse population reveals bird numbers will likely decline in the coming year based on an analysis of sage grouse wings provided by hunters.

12/19/2016 4:12:21 PM

Cheyenne - New data on the Wyoming sage grouse population reveals bird numbers will likely decline in the coming year based on an analysis of sage grouse wings provided by hunters. This follows three years of population increases. In 2016, there were 0.9 chicks per hen, down from 1.7-1.8 documented in 2014 and 2015. This ratio is near the low of 0.8 chicks per hen noted in 2012. The 10-year average, from 2006-2015, was 1.2 chicks per hen. Grouse numbers declined in most of those years.

The generally cold and wet spring likely reduced nest success and chick survival.

“Spring moisture is a double-edged sword,” said Tom Christiansen, sage grouse program coordinator for the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. “It helps the habitat, but if it is too cold and wet, hens abandon flooded nests and newly hatched chicks die from exposure.”

Researchers following radio-marked sage grouse across the state also reported low nest success and chick survival in 2016.

Hunters contribute to the management of sage grouse by assisting the Wyoming Game and Fish Department in the data collection through legal, regulated hunting. Wing data is gathered from hunters who voluntarily deposit wings in barrels scattered across central and southwest Wyoming. Over 2,000 wings were deposited in 2016.

“While it is unfortunate to see the decline in chick production, sage grouse populations in Wyoming appear to cycle, and we experienced three consecutive years of growth from 2014-2016 and so a downturn is not unexpected,” Christiansen said. “We appreciate hunters who provided wings. Their participation helps us manage the bird and build on previous years’ data.”

--
Photo: Saratoga Wildlife Biologist, Will Schultz, Sinclair Wildlife Biologist, Greg Hiatt and Sage-Grouse GIS Analyst, Nyssa Whitford from Lander examine and record the age and sex of harvested sage-grouse wings at the annual Wyoming Game and Fish Department Sage-Grouse Wing Bee held annually at the Yellowtail Wildlife Habitat Management Area near Lovell.

(Wyoming Game and Fish (307) 777-4600)

- WGFD -


Public input on grizzly bears guiding management priorities

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department is moving forward with the next steps for grizzly bear management in Wyoming, thanks to lots of great input from the public.

Continue reading...




Hunting season setting meetings begin in March

Anyone interested in Wyoming hunting is encouraged to attend a season-setting meeting being held March 21 to April 3 across the Cowboy State and offer opinions on proposed 2018 hunting seasons and regulations.

Continue reading...




Game and Fish’s Access Yes program provides over 2.5 million acres for hunting, angling

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department’s Access Yes program provided over 2.66 million acres of access to lands for hunting and fishing in 2017.

Continue reading...




Wyoming Junior Duck Stamp artwork on display in Cheyenne

February is a good time to visit the Wyoming Game and Fish Department Cheyenne Headquarters to see the award-winning work of local youth artists. 

Continue reading...




Howard Fund donates $4,000 to support Access Yes, mule deer recovery

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department recently received a $4,000 donation from the Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga- The Howard Fund.

Continue reading...




Local Pheasants Forever chapter donate $5,000 to support Access Yes

Sheridan and Johnson County Chapter of Pheasants Forever provided 40,000 acres of access in 2017

Continue reading...




Wild bison application period now open

Wild bison hunters can prepare to submit their applications for the 2018 season.

Continue reading...




Plan your hunt with help from Game and Fish

Many hunters know planning for the fall hunting seasons begins in at the first of the year; that’s when applications for many licenses begin to open and decisions about what species and where in Wyoming to hunt start.

Continue reading...




CWD found in deer hunt area near Hanna

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department diagnosed chronic wasting disease (CWD) for the first time in Deer Hunt Area 161 in the town of Hanna, Wyoming.

Continue reading...




Anglers encouraged to be safe on the ice

As ice fishing season progresses, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department advises anglers to use extreme caution while venturing out.

Continue reading...




Email Newsletter

Email Newsletter Sign Up

Stay up to date on all Wyoming Game and Fish news either by email or text message. Click the link below to get started.

Sign Up Today

SHOP WYOMING GAME & FISH STORE   SHOP NOW!

Conserving Wildlife - Serving People