Sagebrush-Obligate Species

Sage Thrasher - Sagebrush Obligate

Once one of the largest ecosystems in the young United States, the "sea of sagebrush" is rapidly becoming isolated ponds, and accompanying its decline are many species of animals whose lives are intertwined with it.

There are many species that rely on sagebrush habitats for their survival, a habitat that is becoming increasingly rare in Washington and throughout the West. The Monument represents one of the largest remaining swaths of sagebrush in Washington and thus is crucial to the survival of these "sagebrush-obligate" species, which include ferruginous hawks, burrowing owls, loggerhead shrikes, sage sparrows, Brewer's sparrows, sage thrashers, greater sage grouse, long-billed curlews, sagebrush voles, Merriam's shrews, pygmy rabbits (likely extirpated from the Monument), Washington ground squirrels, black-tailed jack rabbits, sagebrush lizards and striped whipsnakes. Management to maintain and enhance habitat for these species is, and will be, a priority throughout the Monument. Little is known about the habitat needs of many of these species, so that protection and preservation of intact habitat areas is paramount.