|NWP playing important role in key sage-grouse survey|
|Written by Wild Nevada|
|Friday, 06 April 2012 14:46|
The Nevada Wilderness Project is playing a big role in the current aerial survey of the Bi-state Sage-grouse population along the Nevada-California border.
Not only is our new Renewable Energy Program Coordinator Craig Mortimore coordinating the surveys for the Nevada Department of Wildlife, our Wildlife Biologist Gregg Tanner was instrumental in securing some of the private donations that are helping to pay for the flights.
The surveys, featured in the Reno Gazette-Journal, are a critical part of the state's efforts to measure the overall health of the Bi-state Sage-grouse, which is a high-ranking candidate for Endangered Species List. The Bi-state Sage-grouse, located in Carson City, Douglas, Lyon, Mineral and Esmerald counties in Nevada, is genetically distinct from the Greater Sage-grouse, which occupies the rest of Nevada and several other Western States and also is a candidate for the Endangered Species List.
Craig's work is just a part of the Nevada Wilderness Project's efforts to protect the sage-grouse's shrinking habitat. Gregg Tanner and John Tull, our Conservation Director, have been working on the issue for years -- promoting conservation easements for ranchers with wet meadows favored by the bird, tracking down previously undocumented strutting grounds (leks) where the birds mate and working hard to protect habitat from future development.
The sage-grouse numbers have been dwindling for years as the bird runs out of suitable habitats to live, raise its young and find mates. The sage-brush and forb mosaic favored by the bird has been diminished by fire, development, disease and invasive species. If the the bird is placed on the Endangered Species List as threatened or endangered, it could have a significant impact on activities on public lands, including recreation but also renewable energy development.