Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Montana Wildlife
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Montana Wildlife Project

Boom, bust: linking patterns of rural land-use change and wetland condition to trends in greater sandhill crane demographics

July 2016 - June 2017


Participating Agencies

  • Idaho Department of Fish and Game

Plan of work outlines implementation of a spatially explicit monitoring and evaluation project to document landscape change influencing the Rocky Mountain population (RMP) of greater sandhill cranes (Grus canadensis tabida; herein cranes) by mapping range wide fragmentation rates in keystone summer and staging habitats. The study will identify key stressors driving demographic trends on private and public lands by linking regional crane population data to patterns of land-use change and annual wetland condition over time and space (1996 – present). Results will provide decision support to Flyways and partners that inform species management through evaluation of habitat conditions that structure crane populations. Deliverables will provide information to prioritize conservation actions that strategically mitigate landscape level stressors and maximize the long term viability of RMP cranes.