ASSESSING EFFECTIVENESS OF MANAGEMENT ACTIONS FOR THE BI-STATE DISTINCT POPULATION SEGMENT OF GREATER SAGE-GROUSE.
Mark A. Ricca; 1 US Geological Survey, Western Ecological Research Center; 800 Business Park Dr., Suite D, Dixon, CA, 95620; (560) 669-5089; mark_ricca@usgs.gov; Peter S. Coates, Steven R Mathews, Brian G. Prochazka, Mary B. Meyerpeter, Steve Abele, Shawn P. Espinosa, Scott C. Gardner, Sheri L. Lisius, David J. Delehanty
Sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) occurring along the border of California and Nevada (Bi-State) at the extreme southwestern extent of the species' range are classified as a Distinct Population Segment (DPS). Several assessments under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) have occurred for the DPS over the past decade owing to threats that include conifer expansion, wildfire, drought, and localized isolation. During 2012, a multi-agency and stakeholder team identified a suite of management actions aimed at ameliorating those threats, and FWS withdrew the proposed rule to list the DPS as threatened in 2015. However, a court recently ordered that listing be re-evaluated, in part so that effectiveness of implemented management actions towards improving habitat suitability and population viability can be better quantified. We used data from multi-year telemetry monitoring of the DPS to evaluate: 1) population viability of individual subpopulations and entire DPS in relation to prolonged drought, 2) observed and predicted effectiveness of tree removal on improving sage-grouse frequency of use, habitat suitability, and demographic performance, and 3) potential impacts of reducing subsidized irrigated water sources. These preliminary findings are provided to meet the need for timely best science.
The Anthropocene: Decline & Extinction II