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USGS - science for a changing world

Steven E. Hanser

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Small mammal communities living in sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) may be sensitive to habitat isolation and invasion by exotic grass species. Yet there have been no spatially explicit models to improve our understanding of landscape-scale factors determining small mammal occurrence or abundance. We live-trapped small mammals at 186 locations in the Wyoming Basin Ecoregional Assessment area to develop species distribution (habitat) models for each species. Most small mammal species (n = 14) were trapped at a only few locations. As a result, we developed a small mammal model only for the deer mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus). Deer mice were associated with areas having moderately productive habitat as measured by Normalized...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
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The Greater Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus), endemic to western North Amer-ica, is of great conservation interest. Its popula-tions are tracked by spring counts of males at lek sites. We explored the relations between trends of Greater Sage-Grouse lek counts from 1997 to 2007 and a variety of natural and anthropogenic fea-tures. We found that trends were correlated with several habitat features, but not always similarly throughout the range. Lek trends were positively associated with proportion of sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) cover, within 5 km and 18 km. Lek trends had negative associations with the coverage of agriculture and exotic plant species. Trends also tended to be lower for leks where a greater pro-portion...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
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Spatial patterns influence the processes that maintain Greater Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) populations and sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) landscapes on which they depend. We used connectivity analyses to: (1) delineate the dominant pattern of sagebrush landscapes; (2) identify regions of the current range-wide distribution of Greater Sage-Grouse important for conservation; (3) estimate distance thresholds that potentially isolate populations; and (4) understand how landscape pattern, environmental disturbance, or location within the spatial network influenced lek persistence during a population decline. Long-term viability of sagebrush, assessed from its dominance in relatively unfragmented landscapes, likely...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
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Population ecologists have long recognized the importance of ecological scale in understanding processes that guide observed demographic patterns for wildlife species. However, directly incorporating spatial and temporal scale into monitoring strategies that detect whether trajectories are driven by local or regional factors is challenging and rarely implemented. Identifying the appropriate scale is critical to the development of management actions that can attenuate or reverse population declines. We describe a novel example of a monitoring framework for estimating annual rates of population change for greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) within a hierarchical and spatially nested structure. Specifically,...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Open-File Report
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