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Influences of Livestock Grazing on Sage Grouse Habitat
Jeffrey L. Beck and Dean L. Mitchell
Wildlife Society Bulletin (1973-2006)
Vol. 28, No. 4 (Winter, 2000), pp. 993-1002
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3783858
Page Count: 10
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Livestock grazing has been identified as one factor associated with the widespread decline and degradation of sage grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) habitat. We identified n=17 positive and negative impacts of livestock on sage grouse and habitat. Little information is currently available concerning the directs impacts of livestock grazing on sage grouse habitat. Indirect impacts are better understood than direct impacts. Chemical and mechanical treatments intended to provide increased quantities of grass forage for livestock have indirectly reduced the acceptability of sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) rangelands for sage grouse. Our paper examines: 1) potential mechanisms whereby livestock grazing in big sagebrush (A. tridentata) communities can modify sage grouse habitat and 2) the indirect influences of livestock production on sage grouse habitat. Overall, livestock grazing appears to most affect productivity of sage grouse populations. Residual grass cover following grazing is essential to conceal sage grouse nests from predators. Future research needs are identified and management implications related to livestock grazing in sage grouse habitats are included.
Wildlife Society Bulletin (1973-2006) © 2000 Wiley