Report shows sage grouse tolerance for disturbance is very low

May 1, 2013

A report by the U.S. Geological Survey documents how much human disturbance sage grouse can tolerate, and report co-author Steve Knick says the amount is very low.

He says most active leks, or breeding grounds, are in areas where less than three-percent of the land is developed.

Knick says the study shows that Wyoming is on the right track with its core area policy.

“I think it supports the concept that if you’re going to try and maintain sage grouse populations, you need to minimize disturbance to some extent within these … areas that are highly critical to sage grouse,” he said.

It’s been well-documented that sage grouse don’t do well near human development, but until now, Knick says, no one knew how much development was too much.