Nevada Fish & Wildlife Office
Pacific Southwest Region

Greater sage-grouse

(Centrocercus urophasianus)

Male Sage Grouse
Class: Aves
Order: Galliformes
Family: Phasianidae
Genus: Centrocercus
Species: urophasianus
Length: 30 inches in length and up to 2 feet tall; Males often weigh in excess of 4-5 pounds and hens weigh in at 2-3 pounds
Lifespan: 1 to 1-1/2 years; However, they
have been found to survive up to 10 years in the wild.
Feed: omnivore, eating mainly sagebrush, some other soft plants, and insects.
Habitat: elevations ranging from 4,000 to over 9,000 feet; cannot survive in areas where sagebrush does not exist.
 

New Greater sage-grouse photos and videos!

Photo Credits: USFWS

Click here to download and view more Greater sage-grouse photo's on our flickr page (external link)


       

 

Sage grouse
Sage grouseProposed rule for Bi-State DPS
(7.9MB wmv)


Click here to download and view more Greater sage-grouse videos on the USFWS Nevada videos page


 

Official Status:

 

Bi-State Distinct Population Segment: Proposed Threatened

Includes only greater sage-grouse in Carson City, Douglas, Lyon, Mineral and Esmeralda Counties in Nevada, and in Alpine, Mono, and Inyo Counties in California

 

 

Western population of greater sage-grouse: Candidate

Includes greater sage-grouse in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, eastern California, Nevada, Utah, western Colorado, South Dakota and Wyoming

 

Life History:

 

Like many other grouse species, the greater sage-grouse male plays no role in the raising of the young. Males display on dancing grounds known as leks. Females visit the leks to obtain matings, and then go off to raise their brood by themselves. Traditional lekking grounds may be used for years. Although many male greater sage-grouse may display at a lek, only one or two males get picked by a majority of the females for mating.

The breeding habitat for the greater sage-grouse is sagebrush country in the western United States and southern Alberta and Saskatchewan. They nest on the ground under sagebrush or grass patches.

The greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) is a large, ground-dwelling bird. Measuring as much as 30 inches in length and two feet tall, it weighs from two to seven pounds. It has a long, pointed tail with legs feathered to the base of the toes and fleshy yellow combs over the eyes. Males are larger than females and sport a white ruff around their necks in addition to the typical mottled brown, black and white plumage.

 

Distribution and Habitat:

 

The greater sage-grouse is found at elevations ranging from 4,000 to over 9,000 feet. It is an omnivore, eating mainly sagebrush, some other soft plants, and insects. One of the most interesting aspects of the greater sage-grouse is its nearly complete reliance on sagebrush. These birds cannot survive in areas where sagebrush does not exist.

The historic range of the greater sage-grouse included Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, South Dakota, North Dakota, Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, New Mexico, Arizona, and the Canadian provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, and Saskatchewan. Greater sage-grouse have apparently disappeared from Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona British Columbia and Saskatchewan.

Greater sage-grouse that occur in the Bi-State area of eastern California and west central Nevada have been referred to as Mono Basin Area population of greater sage-grouse by some. The geographic range covered by Mono Basin area population of greater sage-grouse includes portions of Carson City , Lyon, Mineral, Esmeralda, and Douglas Counties in Nevada and portions of Alpine and Inyo Counties , and most of Mono County , in California . Several studies have documented that greater sage-grouse in this geographic area are genetically unique compared to populations of greater sage-grouse elsewhere in the species range. However, the full extent of this uniqueness is yet to be determined.

 
Click to view a full-size map
Click to view a full-size map
Click to view a full-size map
Bi-State Distinct Population
of Greater sage-grouse
(.56 MB PDF)
Nevada Greater sage-grouse
Habitat Categorization Map
Photo Credit: Nevada Department of Wildlife
(1 MB PDF)
Greater sage-grouse Range Wide Map
(.6 MB JPG)
 
 
January 2012:
  • Greater sage-grouse Biology & Status - Nevada Fish and Wildlife Office (1 MB PDF)
     
  • Conserving Greater sage-grouse - Nevada Fish and Wildlife Office (1 MB PDF)
     
    More information on the Greater sage-grouse in Nevada can be found at the:
    Nevada Department of Wildlife Greater sage-grouse Conservation page (external link)
     
     

    Public Meetings:New Info

    Date

    Time

    Location

    5-28-2014 6 to 9 p.m.

    Carson Valley Inn
    Valley Ballroom
    1627 U.S. Highway 395 North
    Minden, NV 89423

    5-29-2014 6 to 9 p.m. Tri-County Fairgrounds
    Home Economics Building
    Sierra Street & Fair Drive
    Bishop, CA 93514
         
         
     

    Public Meetings Posters:New Info

    Proposed Protection (1.2 MB PDF)
    Threats (2.3 MB PDF)
    Proposed 4(d) Special Rule (2.7 MB PDF)
    Proposed Critical Habitat 1 (3.1 MB PDF)
    Primary Constituent Elements (4.1 MB PDF)
    Proposed Critical Habitat 2 (2.3 MB PDF)
    Proposed Critical Habitat 3 (2.4 MB PDF)
     

    Actions / Current Information:

    6/11/2014
  • Economic analysis of critical habitat designation for the bi-state distinct population segment for the Greater Sage grouse (4.2MB PDF)New Info
    6/03/2014
  • Federal Register - Proposed rule; extension of comment period to July 3, 2014 New Info
    6/02/2014
  • News Release - Service announces availability of Draft Economic Analysis on proposals to protect Bi-State Distinct Population Segment of Greater Sage-Grouse New Info
    5/8/2014
  • News Release - Public Hearings Rescheduled on Proposals to Protect Bi-State Distinct Population Segment of Greater Sage-Grouse
    4/28/2014
  • News Release - Service postpones public hearings on proposals to protect the Bi-State Distinct Population Segment of greater sage-grouse
    4/8/2014
  • News Release - Comment Period Extended for Proposals to Protect Bi-State Distinct Population Segment of Greater Sage-Grouse
        Federal Register - Threatened Status for the Bi-State Distinct Population Segment of Greater Sage-Grouse With Special Rule and Designation of Critical Habitat
     
  • Question & Answer - Extension of the Public Comment Period for Proposed Listing, Special 4(d) Rule, and Critical Habitat Bi-State Distinct Population Segment of Greater Sage-Grouse (1.4MB PDF)
    12/19/2013
  • Federal Register -Comment Period Extended for Bi‐State Distinct Population Segment of Greater Sage-Grouse
     
  • News Release - Comment Period Extended for Bi‐State Distinct Population Segment of Greater Sage-Grouse
     
  • Frequently Asked Questions (1.4MB PDF)
    10/30/2013
  • Bi-State Sage-grouse critical habitat shapefiles (.68 MB ZIP)
    10/28/2013
  • Federal Register - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Designation of Critical Habitat for the Bi-State Distinct Population Segment of Greater Sage-Grouse (1 MB PDF)
     
  • Federal Register - Threatened Status for the Bi-State Distinct Population Segment of Greater Sage-Grouse With Special Rule
     
  • To view all documents and provide comments, visit: regulations.gov
     
  • Species Report (Service 2013a) (6MB PDF)
    10/25/2013
  • Bi-State video (7.9MB WMV)
     
  • News Releases - Bi-State Distinct Population Segment of Greater Sage-Grouse Proposed for Protection under Endangered Species Act
     
  • FAQ - Proposed Listing, Special 4(d) Rule, and Critical Habitat Bi-State Distinct Population Segment
     
  • Webber ivesia units
    Webber ivesia unit 1
    Webber ivesia unit 2
    Webber ivesia unit 5
    Webber ivesia unit 11
             
    03/26/2013
  • Conservation Objectives Team Report, please click HERE
     
  • Press Release: March 25, 2012 FWS Releases Report to Help Guide Greater sage-grouse Conservation Objectives (2.5MB PDF)
     
  • Questions and Answers
     
  • Greater sage-grouse Priority Areas for Conservation (PACs) Map
    08/23/2012
  • News Release: FWS Releases Draft Report to Help Guide Greater sage-grouse Conservation Objectives
     
  • Greater sage-grouse Conservation Objectives Team Report
     
  • U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Mountain-Prairie Region home page
         
    11/23/2010
  •  
     
    03/23/2010
  • 03/05/2010
  •  
  • Federal Register 12-Month Findings for Petitions to List the Greater sage-grouse (1.3 MB PDF)
     
  • 12-Month Findings for Petitions to List the Greater sage-grouse (1 MB PDF)
  • 12/18/2008
  • Transmittal Memo from Fish and Wildlife Service Director, Greater sage-grouse Interim Status Update Results
    12/16/2008
  • Transmittal Memo from Region 6 Regional Director, Greater sage-grouse Interim Status Update Results
    10/31/2008
  • 08/27/2008
  • Summary of Greater sage-grouse Listing Petitions Submitted to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
    04/28/2008
  • 04/28/2008
  • 04/28/2008
  • 02/26/2008
  • 03/27/2007
  • 12/22/2006
  • 01/07/2005
  •  
    Last updated: June 11, 2014