American Gunnison sage-grouse in danger


This video is about the Gunnison sage-grouse in the USA.

Formerly lumped with the Gunnison sage-grouse as a single species until a formal split in 2000, the greater sage grouse is the largest grouse in North America and has impressive courtship displays that draw both prospective mates and curious birders every year: here.

From the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in the USA:

Fish and Wildlife Service Seeks Public Comment on Gunnison Sage-Grouse

In a New York Times op-ed today, Cornell Lab director John Fitzpatrick tells the Gunnison Sage-Grouse’s remarkable story of discovery and disappearance. Known for centuries to the inhabitants of modern-day Colorado and Utah, it was only formally described as a new species in 2000—despite the bird’s flamboyant displays and former popularity as a gamebird. As the bird’s numbers continue to fall from changes to its sagebrush habitat, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is weighing listing the species under the Endangered Species Act—a move that would trigger important protections. To aid their decision they’ve issued a call for public comments, which are due by March 12.

9 thoughts on “American Gunnison sage-grouse in danger

  1. So here we have another bird who has been known for centuries and never defined as its own species for two hundred years. Now that someone has written a paper about it this “new” species is suddenly endangered. Now the government is going to step in where they have no business and tell people what they can and can not do with their land. This story is getting very old, very repititious and very tiresome. New species have come and gone for thousands of years. Nature just needs to take its course. The human species has consumed animal habitat for thousand of years. If the federal government wishes to purchase sagebrush country for the going price and then have these grouse live in peace that is one thing – – – – but if they wish to control someone else’s land without paying retribution, then they are overstepping our constitution.

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    • Hi Waldo, biological science has developed enormously since two centuries ago. Just one example: one century ago, everyone called European marsh tits and willow tits “black-headed tits”, thinking these two were just one species. Only later research showed that they don’t interbreed; make different sounds; have (somewhat) different plumage, live in different habitats, etc. Now even I can note the difference 🙂

      In the Netherlands there are people who call all land birds “sijs” (siskin). And all water birds like ducks, coots, etc. “drijfsijs” (floating siskin). We should not follow that example 🙂

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