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Decadal abundance trends of avian SGCN in Wyoming's natural gas fields


July 2018 - June 2019


Sagebrush-obligate songbird species continue to demonstrate considerable range-wide population declines (e.g., 4% and 1.2% per year for Brewer’s Sparrows and Sage Thrashers, respectively since 2000 according to the North American Breeding Bird Survey). The year 2018 marked the 10-year anniversary of avian point-count surveys conducted at 160 points spanning a gradient of energy development within the Jonah and Pinedale Anticline natural gas fields in western Wyoming. Particularly within the Jonah field, the 2008 and 2009 surveys revealed decreases in the abundance of two sagebrush-obligates (Brewer’s Sparrow and Sagebrush Sparrow) with increasing well densities; whether such trends in abundance remain, or have stabilized or worsened, however, is unknown. The current project is repeating the 2008-2009 surveys to address these informational gaps. The primary project partner is the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. Results will inform status assessments for sensitive bird species inhabiting the sagebrush steppe in Wyoming and beyond.


Current Staff

Federal Staff: 95

Masters Students: 239

Phd Students: 144

Post Docs: 55

University Staff: 239

5 Year Summary

Students graduated: 670

Scientific Publications: 1897

Presentations: 4193



Funding Agencies

  • Wyoming Game & Fish Department


Cooperative Research Units Program Headquarters Cooperators

  1. U.S. Geological Survey