Greater Sage Grouse Annotated Bibliography



       The greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus; hereafter GRSG) has been a focus of scientific investigation and management action for the past two decades as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has reviewed a series of petitions to list the species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973. The listing petitions were filed as a result of long-term declines in GRSG population numbers and distribution (Schroeder and others, 2004; Knick and Connelly, 2011; Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, 2015), which are primarily attributed to the loss and degradation of sagebrush habitat and threats including fire, invasive species, and human activity (Connelly and others, 2000; Schroeder and others, 2004; Knick and Connelly, 2011; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 2013).

       The most recent listing determination of "not warranted" by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 2015) was the result of a large-scale collaborative effort to develop strategies to conserve GRSG populations and their habitat and to reduce threats to both. The strategies included amending existing Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service land use plans (such as Bureau of Land Management, 2015a, b) and continuing implementation of the U.S. Department of the Interior Integrated Rangeland Fire Management Strategy (U.S. Department of the Interior, 2015). The large body of scientific literature on GRSG and its response to habitat conditions and threats was the foundation for both efforts. However, many uncertainties in our understanding of how GRSG respond to changes in their environment remained at that time, and the scientific community has continued to conduct new studies to strengthen the science foundation for GRSG management and conservation.

       New scientific information augments existing knowledge and can help inform updates or modifications to existing plans for managing GRSG and sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) habitats and strategies for alleviating threats to both. However, the sheer number of scientific publications developed over time can pose a daunting challenge for managers tasked with evaluating and determining the need for potential updates to existing planning documents. To assist in this process, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has reviewed and summarized the scientific literature published since the last large-scale GRSG planning effort was completed in 2015. Although this annotated bibliography does not replace the need to read the primary literature, we hope that this document will be a valuable reference for planners and managers responsible for managing natural resources within the GRSG range.