Wyoming sees dip in sage-grouse reproduction

Wyoming is seeing a slight decline sage-grouse reproduction. Credit: Tom Koerner/USFWS

Early estimates from Wyoming’s 2021 sage-grouse wings indicate reproduction declined slightly in the last year. Wings from harvested chick and hen sage-grouse are collected from hunters who voluntarily drop them off at designated collection points. Hunters deposited wings from 621 chicks and 750 hens in collection barrels. In a preliminary analysis, Wyoming’s 2021 chick-to-hen ratio was 0.8 chicks/hen. It’s a decrease from two previous years where reproduction ratios held at 1.1 chicks/hen. Based on these numbers, male lek attendance is expected to be lower this spring.

“There’s no doubt that Wyoming’s drought has an impact on this year’s chick recruitment,” said Leslie Schreiber, Wyoming Game and Fish Department sage grouse/sagebrush biologist. “Good moisture in the spring and summer and quality habitat are the top two contributing factors of chick survival.”

Read more from the Wyoming Game and Fish Department.