Submitted to: Ecology and Management of Pinyon Juniper Communities Within The Interior W
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/1/2005
Publication Date: 5/16/2005
Citation: Davies, K., Bates, J.D., Miller, R. 2005. Vegetation cover potentials of the wyoming big sagebrush alliance and sage-grouse habitat requirements [abstract]. Ecology and Management of Pinyon Juniper Communities Within The Interior W. Paper No. 39.
Technical Abstract: The Wyoming big sagebrush alliance is the most extensive of the big sagebrush complex in the Intermountain West. This cover type provides important habitat for many sagebrush obligate and facultative wildlife species as well as an important forage base for livestock production. Lack of information on the vegetation potential of the Wyoming big sagebrush cover type has resulted in disagreement over management guidelines and habitat need for sage-grouse. Vegetation characteristics of relatively undisturbed, late seral Wyoming big sagebrush sites wilt compared to existing sage-grouse habitat guideline requirements. The habitat requirements are divided into mesic and arid sagebrush sites, but only breeding habitat requirements were different. Brood-rearing and winter habitat requirements were the same for arid and mesic sites. During 2001 and 2002, 107 sites were sampled in southeastern Oregon and northeastern Nevada. Standard vegetation methods were used to measure vegetation cover by species. None and 18% of the sites met the mesic and arid sites breeding habitat requirements, respectively. Of the 107 late seral sites sampled, 64% and 70% met the brood-rearing and winter habitat requirements, respectively. Breeding habitat requirements need to be adjusted to better match the biological potential of the Wyoming big sagebrush alliance in our region.