Clarifying the finer-scale landscape elements critical to support the breeding activities of non-game, sagebrush-associated birds
August 2023 - December 2025
- Fish and Wildlife Service
The North American sagebrush steppe has been converted and altered extensively, with concomitant declines in sagebrush-associated wildlife. The recent Sagebrush Conservation Design (SCD) efforts provide valuable, broad-scale inference about core sagebrush areas (CSAs) and growth opportunity areas (GOAs). A key next step is to clarify the finer-scale, within-landscape habitat elements that are critical to support sagebrush species, particularly non-game species that have received less management attention. The main goal of the project is therefore to assess the habitat characteristics associated with consistent occupancy and nesting success of nesting sagebrush songbirds across multiple years and four unique study areas in Wyoming and Montana. Research and funding partners include the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Wyoming Game and Fish Department, USGS (WLCI). The identification of consistently important habitat features for breeding non-game birds within sagebrush landscapes will complement existing biome-wide habitat prioritization efforts.