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Ranked Habitat Classes for Sage-Grouse Brood-Rearing Productivity, Nevada and California


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Brussee, B.E., Coates, P.S., O'Neil, S.T., Casazza, M.L., Espinosa, S.P., Boone, J.D., Ammon, E.M., Gardner, S.C., and Delehanty, D.J., 2022, Spatially-explicit predictive maps of greater sage-grouse brood selection integrated with brood survival in Nevada and Northeastern California, USA: U.S. Geological Survey data release,


Ranked habitat classes for sage-grouse brood-rearing productivity at each 90 m pixel. Habitat classes represent areas where high brood selection and high brood survival intersected, whereas the lowest ranks represent areas where high brood habitat selection intersected with the low brood survival. Hierarchical models of brood selection and survival were fit to landscape covariates within a Bayesian modeling framework in Nevada and California from 2009 - 2017 to develop spatially explicit information about brood habitat selection and survival.


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Numerous wildlife species within semi-arid shrubland ecosystems across western North America are experiencing substantial habitat loss and fragmentation. These changes in habitat are often attributed to a diverse suite of factors including prolonged and increasingly severe droughts, conifer expansion, anthropogenic development, domestic and feral livestock grazing, and invasion of exotic annual grasses which promotes increased wildfire frequency and severity. Greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus; hereafter, sage-grouse) are considered an indicator of sagebrush ecosystem health and have experienced widespread population decline associated with habitat loss and degradation, as well as changes in predator communities. Our objectives were to model and map sage-grouse habitat selection and survival during the important brood-rearing life stage in relation to landscape-scale environmental predictors. Furthermore, we sought to understand impacts of wildfire and annual grass invasion on brood habitat, as these accelerated disturbance regimes are a primary cause of habitat loss within the Great Basin region of the USA.

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