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

Wyoming Project

Avian Community Response in GTNP

May 2013 - December 2015


Participating Agencies

  • University of Wyoming - NPS

Information provided by this study will serve multiple purposes. First, it will contribute to a better understanding of the effects of restoration treatments on sagebrush steppe birds and their habitats. Currently, there is little information available in the primary literature on bird responses to restoration in sagebrush steppe ecosystems. In fact, a recent review of published articles by Ortega-Alvarez and Lindig-Cisneros (2012) of the effects of ecological restoration on birds and the role birds play in evaluating restoration outcomes yielded no studies focused on sagebrush steppe habitats. Although there are studies reporting restoration treatments of sagebrush steppe with the aim of creating or improving Greater Sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) habitat, the actual effects of restoration on sage grouse populations seemingly have not been evaluated (e.g., Wisdon et al. 2002; Baker et al. 2009). Second, these data could be used in building state-and-transition (STM) models as a way of determining when ecological functions (like the provision of wildlife habitat) are intact. Holmes and Miller (2010) recently used an STM approach to model effects of habitat dynamics on grasshopper sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum) abundance in Oregon rangelands, and there are efforts underway to do the same for populations of Greater Sage-grouse (Evers 2010). Information from our study will be made available to other researchers and land managers through a manuscript published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal. Additionally, our data will be shared with NPS personnel to be used in natural resource management decisions.