Conservation of sagebrush ecosystems and wildlife

Product Type: 

Science Feature

Year: 

2005

Author(s): 

Aldridge, C. and J. Wilson

Suggested Citation: 

Aldridge, C. and J. Wilson. 2005. Conservation of sagebrush ecosystems and wildlife. 01/01/1901: http://www.fort.usgs.gov/resources/research_briefs/Conservation_Sagebrush.asp

Sagebrush ecosystems are diverse habitats found throughout western North American that support a variety of flora and fauna. Home to unique wildlife such as Sage-grouse, Sage Thrashers, Brewer's Sparrows, Ferruginous Hawks, and pygmy rabbits, these ecosystems have undergone intense changes since the time when millions of bison roamed the plains. European settlement and intense agricultural practices resulted in the loss of over half of the sagebrush ecosystem. Today, sagebrush habitats continue to be threatened by a variety of influences. Conversion of these native landscapes to agriculture, invasion by non-native plant species, energy extraction activities and associated developments, rural expansion, and intense grazing pressures can all reduce, degrade, or fragment remaining habitats...