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

Oregon Project

Greater Sage Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) Response to Habitat Restoration Efforts in the Devils Garden Plateau of Northern California and Southern Oregon

August 2018 - March 2023


Participating Agencies

  • USGS Science Support Partnership

Range-wide declines in greater sage grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) have been attributed to habitat alteration and fragmentation. Once abundant throughout the Devils Garden Plateau of southern Oregon and northern California, sage-grouse have declined significantly and there is a strong correlation between decreased sage-grouse abundance and the loss or fragmentation of sagebrush in the region due to juniper encroachment. Landscape-scale modeling has shown that juniper encroachment negatively impacts sage-grouse, and recent research has positively linked sage-grouse demographics to juniper removal activities. In 2005, the Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuge Complex (KBNWRC) in collaboration with ranchers, California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW), Bureau of Lan Management (BLM), Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), and United States Forest Service (USFS) initiated a sagebrush restoration effort and grouse translocation program to augment sage-grouse numbers, and prevent extirpation of the Devils Garden population on the Clear Lake NWR. Anecdotal accounts suggest birds are seasonally moving throughout restored areas; however, these earlier monitoring efforts were conducted opportunistically and without targeted objectives, resulting in limited quantitative data. In collaboration with USFWS and OSU, this current project will attempt to fill knowledge gaps regarding dispersal ecology, seasonal movement patterns and demographics relative to landscape distribution of seasonal habitat, and habitat condition (structure, hydrology) for sage-grouse in this area. Strategic and successful habitat restoration in Devils Garden is contingent on collecting this information to address management objectives for meeting seasonal habitat requirements of grouse while promoting landscape connectivity and broader ecosystem benefits including hydrologic efficiencies and habitat resiliency.

Presentations Presentation Date
Sink, C.E., K.M. Dugger, and C.A. Hagen. 2019. Connecting the dogs, identifying barriers to greater sage-grouse population expansion at Clear Lake National Wildlife Refuge, California, USA. 26th Annual Meeting of The Wildlife Society, Sept. 29 - Oct. 3, 2019, Reno, NV. September 2019
Sink, C.E., K.M. Dugger, C.A. Hagen, and J. W. Beckstrand. 2020. Translocating sage-grouse: shell-game or effective conservation tool? Oregon Chapter of The Wildlife Society's Annual Meeting, February 4-7, 2020, Eugene, OR. February 2020
Theses and Dissertations Publication Date
Sink, Chelsea E. 2023. Greater Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) Demographic Rates and Predator Communities in a Degraded Landscape in Modoc County, California. MS Thesis, Oregon State University. Corvallis, OR, 71pp. January 2023