Summer 2017 Feature: Loss of Sage in Great Basin Impacts Upland Bird Numbers
An excerpt from Loss of Sage in Great Basin Impacts Upland Bird Numbers…One of the greatest upland bird hunting areas in the West, the Great Basin of Nevada and surrounding states, is in jeopardy of losing most of its sagebrush habitat and the wildlife populations that depend on sage for food and cover.
The loss of sage habitat has already cut the sage grouse population by around 15 percent, according to Shawn Espinoza, a wildlife biologist with the Nevada Division of Wildlife. While the big grouse depend on sage for food and cover, chukar, Hungarian partridge, Columbian sharp-tailed grouse and valley quail also rely on sage for protection from predators and as nesting cover. All upland bird species are negatively impacted by the loss of sage.