Sage Grouse Reproduction in Wyoming Declined from Last Year
Early estimates from Wyoming’s 2021 sage grouse wings indicate reproduction declined slightly in the last year.
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.
During the first month of life, chicks rely on a diet of high-protein insects with adequate habitat cover. As the bird grows, grass and forbs —like wildflowers — become another important food source. Older birds rely almost exclusively on sagebrush in their diet.
Thirty-eight percent of the world’s sage grouse inhabit Wyoming and the state supports more than 1,700 known, occupied leks. Wyoming is a sage grouse stronghold, Schreiber notes, and hunters who harvest birds provide valuable information for management.
Full analysis for 2021 bird populations will be available in the sage grouse job completion report, posted on the Game and Fish website in the spring.