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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: West Nile Virus: Pending Crisis for Greater Sage-Grouse

Authors
item Naugle, David - UNIV OF MONTANA, MISSOULA
item Aldridge, Cameron - UNIV OF ALBERTA, EDMONTON
item Walker, Brett - UNIV OF MONTANA, MISSOULA
item Cornish, Todd - WY STATE VET LAB, LARAMIE
item Moynahan, Brendan - UNIV OF MONTANA, MISSOULA
item Holloran, Matt - UNIV OF WYOMING, LARAMIE
item Brown, Kimberly - THUNDERBIRD WILDLIFE CONS
item Johnson, Gregory - MONTANA ST UNIV, BOZEMAN
item Schmidtmann, Edward
item Mayer, Richard
item Kato, Cecilia
item Matchett, Marc - US FISH & WILDLIFE, MT
item Christiansen, Thomas - WY GAME & FISH, GREEN RVR
item Cook, Walter - WY GAME & FISH, LARAMIE
item Creekmore, Terry - DEPT OF HEALTH, LARAMIE
item Falise, Roxanna - BLM, BILLINGS, MT
item Rinkes, E. Thomas - BLM, LANDER, WY
item Boyce, Mark - UNIV OF ALBERTA, EDMONTON

Submitted to: Ecology Letters
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: May 1, 2004
Publication Date: August 1, 2004
Citation: Naugle, D.E., Aldridge, C.L., Walker, B.L., Cornish, T.E., Moynahan, B.J., Holloran, M.J., Brown, K., Johnson, G.D., Schmidtmann, E.T., Mayer, R.T., Kato, C.Y., Matchett, M.R., Christiansen, T.J., Cook, W.E., Creekmore, T., Falise, R.D., Rinkes, E., Boyce, M.S. 2004. West Nile Virus: pending crisis for greater sage-grouse. Ecology Letters. 7(8):704-713.

Interpretive Summary: Scientists have feared that emerging infectious diseases could complicate efforts to conserve rare and endangered species, but quantifying impacts has proven difficult until now. We report unexpected impacts of West Nile virus (WNv) on radio-marked greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus), a species that has declined 45–80% and is endangered in Canada and under current consideration for federal listing in the US. We show that WNv reduced late-summer survival an average of 25% in four radio-marked populations in the western US and Canada. Serum from 112 sage-grouse collected after the outbreak show that none had antibodies, suggesting that they lack resistance. The spread of WNv represents a significant new stressor on sage-grouse and probably other at-risk species. While managing habitat might lessen its impact on sage-grouse populations, WNv has left wildlife and public health officials scrambling to address surface water and vector control issues in western North America.

Technical Abstract: Scientists have feared that emerging infectious diseases could complicate efforts to conserve rare and endangered species, but quantifying impacts has proven difficult until now. We report unexpected impacts of West Nile virus (WNv) on radio-marked greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus), a species that has declined 45–80% and is endangered in Canada and under current consideration for federal listing in the US. We show that WNv reduced late-summer survival an average of 25% in four radio-marked populations in the western US and Canada. Serum from 112 sage-grouse collected after the outbreak show that none had antibodies, suggesting that they lack resistance. The spread of WNv represents a significant new stressor on sage-grouse and probably other at-risk species. While managing habitat might lessen its impact on sage-grouse populations, WNv has left wildlife and public health officials scrambling to address surface water and vector control issues in western North America.

Last Modified: 11/20/2014
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