Utah Sage Grouse Population: For the past 15 years Utah has been working to increase the Sage Grouse population. Years ago the Utah Sage Grouse was listed on the ESL (Endangered species list), due to road developments, Wildfires and the extraction of natural resources coupled with the delicate habitat that is needed for the Sage Grouse to breed their numbers went from soaring the millions to an estimated 200,000 or so birds left. In 2015 after years of habitat restoration and nearly $1.5 billion spent we have been successful in being able to take these unique birds off the ESL.
Why it’s important: These birds are very unique and a real wonder to watch as they form their Lek’s and start their mating rituals it would be a shame for our future generations to miss out on something so unique. There is truly nothing quite like it. They are also an amazing bird to hunt but with their populations at risk it is up to us to do the ethical thing and learn about how we can decrease our environmental impact.
What you can do: One of the main issues is that the areas that we love to hike and hunt or drive our OHV’s is typically in their prime habitat and something as simple as road development or running over the sage brush could put unwanted stress on their systems causing them to not breed and decreasing their numbers even more. These birds are notorious for having very delicate breeding practices and any kind of stress with deter them from mating. So just be aware of your surroundings and be mindful of your waste. Leave places better off then when you got there and if you notice these birds and happen to be enjoying their spaces, give them space and help them to grow their numbers. I would love to see the Sage Grouse population in the millions again.
I believe that the more you know about your environment and the areas you love to explore the more you can help give back and know how to properly take care of them.
-Thanks for stopping by!