The greater sage grouse is an endangered species found in south-eastern Alberta. In order to combat the declining species, the province of Alberta is working with Montana to bolster the local population.
There is an estimated fewer than 90 sage grouse left in Alberta, but this spring 40 will be transferred from Montana’s healthy population as part of a recovery plan.
Past relocations in 2010 and 2011 were met with some success and showed that sage grouse from Montana could successful resettle with the small Alberta population and result in nests and hatchlings.
Also, in order to combat habitat loss due to farming and oil and gas activity, the federal government issued the first ever protection order under the Species At Risk Act to restrict human activity on grassland in Alberta where sage grouse nest.
The sage grouse was first listed as endangered in 1998. They are the largest grouse species in North America and are known for their impressive mating displays.
What can you do?
Simply by reading this and sharing or talking about it with others helps to bring awareness to Alberta’s declining species. The sage grouse is no more or less important than any other animal who plays their role in a healthy ecosystem, and to lose the population in its entirety is a devastating prospect.
You can also support conservation efforts for local wildlife through volunteering or donating.
Wildlife health is an important indicator of Alberta’s environment, and we all have a shared responsibility to support our wild neighbours. Each native species should be a source of pride for Albertans, and the sage grouse is no exception.
After all, it all comes down to this:
“We don’t own the earth. We are the earth’s caretakers. We take care of it and all the things on it. And when we’re done with it, it should be left better than we found it.”
-Katherine Hannigin, author