Low Sage Grouse Numbers Not a Concern for Biologists

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Wyoming Game and Fish biologists told News 13 lower than average Fremont County sage grouse numbers are no cause for concern.

Our Landon Harrar accompanied a field biologist to sage grouse breeding areas known as leks.

Sage grouse typically put on displays for mates from dusk until a few hours after sunrise.

Although not every lek had sage grouse, biologists say it’s normal for the birds to be less active when it’s windy.

WGFD Biologist Stan Harter shared, “If it’s really windy they tend to be less active, if windy and cold and raining and snow on top of it they may not be, they may appear at the leks but may not display hardly ever or if they do its very, very low-key."

Harter travels to leks several times a week to count how many males are displaying.

And although the numbers decreased compared to last year, the reason is most likely last years, wet spring damaged hens’ first tries at a nest and second, the nests don't hatch as many chicks, showing fewer birds is normal.

Last year, forty-two thousand males were observed across leks.

Normally for every male, there are two hens.