Sage Grouse Genetics
September 2011 - September 2015
The objective of this research is to gain a more comprehensive understanding of Greater Sage-Grouse connectivity across Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming, and the use of molecular genetics tools in a landscape genetics framework in partnership with the Bureau of Land Management. This includes: • Assess the relative importance of individual leks in the network of leks in Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and the Powder River Basin of Wyoming. • Assign management importance to the persistence of individual leks as it relates to the population as a whole. • Test multiple hypotheses about which landscape and environmental features are critical to maintain connectivity, and which features hinder bird movement among leks and Montana and the surrounding states. • Model connectivity between and within the recently designated Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks core breeding areas largely located on BLM land. • Identify corridors of conservation priority to be included in updating resource management plans.