Navigation Links
ARS scientists study effects of grazing on grouse habitat
Date:4/30/2010

This release is available in Spanish.

Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists at the Eastern Oregon Agricultural Research Center in Burns, Ore., are taking a careful look at how grazing cattle affect sage-grouse habitat on high desert rangelands.

Cattle share this habitat with sage-grouse, which are chicken-sized birds that are notorious for the showy commotion they create during mating season. But the sage-grouse numbers have declined throughout their range, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) has added the species as a candidate for Endangered Species Act protection. FWS will review the status of the sage-grouse annually to determine whether it warrants more immediate attention for being listed as an endangered species.

If the sage-grouse is listed, this would increase scrutiny of management practices on rangelands that provide habitat for the species. The birds depend on sagebrush and the grasses growing beneath these shrubs to provide food and a safe place to nest and raise their young.

Ranchers worry that an increased emphasis on management for sage-grouse habitat could limit their use of rangelands. Such a limitation could seriously threaten the livelihood of ranchers who graze their animals on public lands.

ARS rangeland scientists David Ganskopp (now retired) and Chad Boyd studied cattle grazing patterns on sagebrush communities. They found that cattle first preferred to graze on perennial grass growing between sagebrush plants. These grasses between sagebrush plants were called "interspace" tussocks, which are the individual grass plants.

When cattle consumed around 40 percent of the interspace tussocks, they then began to graze on the tussocks growing beneath sagebrush itself. The researchers also noted that grass tussocks under spreading, umbrella-shaped shrub canopies were less likely to be grazed than tussocks beneath erect, narrow canopies.

Boyd and Ganskopp concluded that ranchers could preserve grouse habitat by monitoring the rate at which cattle were consuming interspace tussocks and moving them to new grazing lands when 40 percent of the interspace tussock had been consumed. Their findings also suggest that cattle impacts on grouse nesting habitats may be affected by site factors like sagebrush shape and stature that are not readily controlled with grazing management.

Results from this study were published in Rangeland Ecology & Management.


'/>"/>

Contact: Ann Perry
ann.perry@ars.usda.gov
301-504-1628
United States Department of Agriculture-Research, Education, and Economics
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Scientists report first genome sequence of frog
2. Ames Laboratory scientists win national technology transfer awards
3. New tool helps scientists see molecular signals of eye disease before symptoms arise
4. Scientists to measure impact of volcanic ash on ocean biology
5. Scientists discover final piece in phytate jigsaw
6. Scientists favor needles over tablets for global vaccinations
7. Phosphorous in sodas and processed foods accelerates signs of aging say Harvard scientists
8. Scientists crack code of critical bacterial defense mechanism
9. Scientists discover key step for regulating embryonic development
10. Scientists sever molecular signals that prolific parasite uses to puppeteer cells
11. Scientists create artificial human skin with biomechanical properties using tissue engineering
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/2/2017)... , March 2, 2017 Australian stem cell ... (ASX: CYP), has signed an agreement with the Monash ... Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute and Department of Pharmacology at ... a further preclinical study to support the use of ... asthma.  Asthma is a chronic, long ...
(Date:2/28/2017)... , February 28, 2017 News solutions for ... ... from 14 to 16 March, Materna will present ... show how seamless travel is a real benefit for passengers. ... biometrics to their passenger touch point solutions to take passengers through ...
(Date:2/26/2017)... Feb. 25, 2017  Securus Technologies, a leading ... for public safety, investigation, corrections and monitoring, announces ... Reentry. "Too often, too many offenders ... county jails are trying to tackle this ongoing ... friends and family members. While significant steps are underway, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:3/23/2017)... , March 23, 2017 In ... four equities in the Biotech industry: Sangamo Therapeutics Inc. ... Inc. (NYSE MKT: SYN), and Regulus Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: ... , 2017, Credit Suisse upgraded its rating on Pharmaceuticals/Biotechnology to "Overweight" from ... their free report at: ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... March 22, 2017  Ascendis Pharma A/S (Nasdaq: ... TransCon technology to address significant unmet medical needs ... the full year ended December 31, 2016. ... our company as we broadened our pipeline and ... rare disease company with an initial focus on ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... LEXINGTON, Mass. , March 22, 2017   ... collections, today announced that Doctors Pathology Service ... mid-Atlantic region of the United States ... the Delaware Health Information Network (DHIN) to ... researchers. The novel program, announced in ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... 22, 2017   Boston Biomedical , an industry ... to target cancer stemness pathways, today announced its Board ... as Chief Executive Officer, effective April 24, 2017. ... Li , M.D., FACP, who has led Boston Biomedical ... his leadership, Boston Biomedical has grown from a "garage ...
Breaking Biology Technology: