Tracking Wildlife with Radios

Researchers track sage grouse on flat brush-covered BLM land, the habitat most desired by the sage grouse on western lands. Sage grouse chicks have a mortality rate of 75% in the first two weeks of life, so University of Idaho researchers are checking nesting sites of two hens fitted with transmitters.  ....Sage grouse once numbered two million birds, But today there is only a breeding population of 15,000 to 30,000 birds--only 5-10,000 in the Upper Snake River. ....Momentum is building to list the sage grouse under the federal Endangered Species Act. Many predict the effort will result in an environmental battle to match the spotted owl/logging debate. The most serious threats to sage grouse habitat are range fires, farming and livestock grazing.