Conserving the Nature of America
Press Release
Lek Cam Offers Streaming Video of the Sage-Grouse Strut

April 3, 2018


Division of Public Affairs
External Affairs
Telephone: 703-358-2220

Male greater sage-grouse Credit: USFWS

PORTLAND, OR — Have you ever seen a sage-grouse strut? For the fourth straight year, you can witness the greater sage-grouse dancing to find a mate on a live-streaming wildlife camera. Located on a breeding ground called a lek, these birds puff out their chests and fan their tail feathers every morning from approximately 5:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. PDT. You can visit The Nature Conservancy’s website to watch live and recorded footage at

This unobtrusive wildlife camera is designed to capture the intimate details of the sage-grouse’s unique mating ritual without disturbing the birds or causing resource damage. The cameras illuminate the lek with infrared light, which these extremely sensitive birds aren’t able to see. The camera also often captures video of other wildlife such as mule deer, elk, and eagles.

The lek cam will be streaming live coverage from April 3 to May 15. Recorded coverage is available to viewers on the website.

Male sage-grouse have danced at leks across their 173 million-acre, 11-state range for hundreds of thousands of years. The birds once occupied more than 290 million acres of sagebrush in the West, but the bird has lost more than half of its range due to habitat loss and fragmentation from development, noxious weeds and fire. The sagebrush West is home to more than 350 species of plants and animals, and is one of the largest and most threatened ecosystems in the lower 48 states.

“It’s really exciting to share a rare glimpse into the lives and unique rituals of these iconic birds,” says Garth Fuller, The Nature Conservancy’s Eastern Oregon Conservation Director. “With so many people coming together to protect and restore this western landscape, many who have never been fortunate enough to see the sage grouse in person, it’s powerful to see this species that is so intertwined with the health of the land.”

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and The Nature Conservancy joined with other federal and state agencies and private landowners to launch an unprecedented, landscape-scale conservation effort of the sagebrush West, an ecosystem that supports iconic wildlife, outdoor recreation, ranching and other traditional land uses. This collaborative effort is working to reduce threats to the greater sage-grouse across 90 percent of the species’ breeding habitat, and enabled the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to conclude that the charismatic rangeland bird does not warrant protection under the Endangered Species Act.

More information on the ongoing collaborative work to conserve the sagebrush landscape is available at:

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