New data shows numbers of endangered sage grouse on the rise

CALGARY — There’s some rare good news for the critically endangered greater sage grouse which has had its highest growth rate in 20 years.

The population of the bird, located primarily in Alberta and Saskatchewan, had declined by 98 per cent since 1988, partly due to contact with humans and disease.

In 2014, there were thought to be only 14 males remaining in Alberta, with the total provincial population estimated at about 30 birds.

Only six males were counted at active breeding grounds in Saskatchewan.

This year, 35 males were counted in Alberta and 20 were counted in Saskatchewan.

Cliff Wallis from the Alberta Wilderness Association credits climatic factors and a federal emergency protection order in December 2013.

The order puts special rules in place for 1,700 square kilometres of Crown land in southern Alberta and Saskatchewan.

 

The Canadian Press