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Greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus), an icon of the American West, once numbered as many as 16 million birds. Today, fewer than 200,000 remain. Their population is in decline due to loss of habitat from energy development and residential building in sage brush areas. A scientific study found that the population declined 55 percent from 2007 to 2013. Sage grouse are named for the sagebrush that they primarily feed on.
Greater sage-grouse are an umbrella species. Conserving their habitat benefits 350 other species. Greater sage-grouse had been listed as a candidate for listing under the Endangered Species Act. In 2015, after evaluating the best available scientific and commercial information regarding the greater sage-grouse, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service has determined that protection for the greater sage-grouse under the Endangered Species Act is no longer warranted and withdrew the species from the candidate species list.
Males are known for the large air sacks on their breasts that they inflate during elaborate courtship dances performed on leks (mating areas). Sage-grouse are the largest native grouse in North America.
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- © 2014 John L. Dengler
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America Bureau of Land Management Centrocercus urophasianus Department of the Interior North America U.S. US USA United States United States of America Wyoming animal animals aves avian bird birds fauna feather fowl-like birds gallinacean gallinaceous bird greater sage-grouse grouse nature no people nobody outdoor outdoors outside sage grouse sage-grouse square wilderness wildlife