Our issues -- sagebrush-shrubsteppe
It is no secret that sagebrush-shrubsteppe habitats across the West have been lost, degraded, and fragmented, placing native species and entire communities at risk. The Greater Sage-grouse is one such species at risk. It is considered an umbrella species for sagebrush communities, due to its need for large and varied sagebrush landscapes to meet breeding, brood-rearing, and wintering requirements. Where habitat can be conserved, we can help sustain sage-grouse populations and protect healthy communities of other wildlife species.
At Montana Audubon, we are increasing our efforts to protect the sagebrush shrubsteppe habitat and the critters therein. We are collaborating with others in Montana and neighboring states to increase our understanding.
Our primary efforts to date include developing 6 sagebrush-shrubsteppe Important Bird Areas (IBAs) - 5 that are specifically designated for the Greater-sage Grouse and one nominated for its healthy populations of Brewer's Sparrow.
For details about our Greater Sage-Grouse Important Bird Areas (IBAs) click HERE >>
Others in Montana have developed good resources and strategies for protecting sage and sage grouse. One of our roles is to make these readily available:
- Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks
- 2009. FWP has analyzed sage-grouse lek data and has developed Core Areas, which are very similar to our sagebrush-shrubsteppe IBAs. Download the GIS shapefile HERE
- GIS boundaries (shape files, jpegs) of various wildlife habit needs are HERE
- Montana NRCS has extensive resources designed for landowners
- A brochure on sagebrush shrub-steppe habitat in the west - download HERE