NEWS

Sage grouse counts likely to decline in coming year

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.

12/18/2017 9:17:24 AM

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. Data collected shows that in 2017, there were 1.2 chicks per hen, compared to 0.9 chicks per hen in 2016. This number mirrors the 10-year average from 2007-2016. Typically, biologists would like to see numbers of 1.4-1.6 chicks per hen to maintain population stability.

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 2000 wings were collected in 2017, and wings from 924 chicks and 767 hens were examined.

By looking at the ratio of chicks to hens, it gives us a good idea of what our reproduction was for this year, and that helps us predict what our lek counts will be next year in terms of whether there will be more birds or fewer birds based on this year’s reproduction,” Tom Christiansen, sage grouse program coordinator for the Wyoming Game and Fish Department said. “We appreciate hunters who provided wings. Their participation helps us manage the bird and build on previous years’ data.”

Christiansen says the extreme winter experienced in western Wyoming last year had a minimal effect on sage grouse production, noting that if anything, mortality is usually at its lowest during the winter months.

Wing data is just one tool Game and Fish uses to estimate sage grouse population. Department personnel and other partners also visit over 1,600 leks, or breeding grounds to count the numbers of sage grouse visiting on each lek.

 

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

- WGFD -


2019 Wyoming Super Tag winners announced

$1.1 million generated for wildlife conservation

Continue reading...




Game and Fish completes annual white-nose syndrome monitoring

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department, in collaboration with other agencies and organizations, annually swabs the mammals for early detection of the fungus Pseudogymnoascus destructans.

Continue reading...




Game and Fish CWD working group to meet in Lander

The group is charged with developing recommendations to revise Game and Fish’s CWD management plan. 

Continue reading...




Public asked to report dead sage grouse during West Nile virus season

Reports help in the management of the state’s sage grouse populations.

Continue reading...




Wyoming conservation partners invested $8 million for habitat projects

The projects are crucial for conserving more than 800 species in Wyoming for future generations. 

Continue reading...




Game and Fish Commission to meet in Rock Springs

The public is invited to attend the meeting and open house
 

Continue reading...




Stay safe, boat sober

Increased BUI enforcement for holiday weekend

Continue reading...






Game and Fish hears from public on CWD

147 people attended public meetings

Continue reading...




Wyoming business challenges others to be both an industry leader and conservation champion

ITC Electrical Technologies purchases Wildlife Conservation license plates for vehicle fleet

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