A Vulnerable Species Throughout history, humans have regarded snakes with both fascination and horror. In many cultures, snakes have been symbols of evil, from the Biblical serpent in the Garden of Eden to the snake demons of Indian mythology. To the ancient Egyptians the emblem of judgment and death was a snake. Snakes are found in most habitats worldwide except in extreme northern and southern regions.
Kasten Dumroese, Jeremiah R. Pinto and Deborah M. Members of the Asclepias family are the sole food source for monarch caterpillars, and their flowers provide exceptional nectar resources for a wide variety of pollinators. These two species and pollinators share dwindling sagebrush habitat in the western United States that is putting their populations at risk.
Sagebrush landscapes transformed by disturbances often require significant effort to restore their ecological function, and achieving desired results can be far more difficult and slow without the correct strategy.
Fortunately, habitat restoration efforts focused on increasing the abundance and diversity of critical forbs can simultaneously benefit all three at-risk populations. Forest Service — are at the forefront of propagating plant materials and monitoring effectiveness of restoration of sagebrush Artemisia spp.
However, a major hurdle confronting successful forb restoration in the sagebrush ecosystem is commercial propagation of sufficient quantities of plants and their seeds in order to make large-scale projects economically feasible.
Notable challenges include seed dormancy that prevents prompt and complete germination during field establishment, indeterminate seed ripening times, short plant stature that makes mechanical harvesting difficult and lengthy times between initial seed sowing and first-seed harvest.
The important role of pollinators, such as this bumble bee Bombus spp. While successfully growing all the forbs needed for restoration of the sagebrush ecosystem has a ways to go, the number of plants doing well in commercial settings is increasing.
Plus, the anticipated demand from land managers responding to a DOI Secretarial Order to restore sagebrush habitats should provide added incentive for growers to improve the supply and diversity of forbs offered for restoration work.
In order to maximize the effectiveness of wildlife recovery efforts, western land managers in arid regions will require a broad palette of forbs. But before these efforts can proceed further, some questions need to be answered, including, which forbs will provide the most benefit and have the widest applicability to sage-dependent species?
And which methods for deploying the plants are most successful? Three in Need Greater sage-grouse may serve as an umbrella species for a variety of wildlife species in the sagebrush ecosystem. Declining greater sage-grouse populations also got a lot of attention when the U.
Fish and Wildlife Service determined that the species did not warrant listing as a federally endangered species under the Endangered Species Act. This decision was based on a tremendous five-year research and conservation effort by numerous state and federal agencies, research institutions and stakeholders across 11 western states to better understand threats affecting the birds and their habitat.
Recognizing that western sagebrush ecosystems remain threatened, in JanuaryDOI Secre Secretary Jewell ordered development of management strategies Secretarial Orderclearly linking conservation of sage-grouse to protecting and restoring the sagebrush landscape.
This linkage provides support for a holistic conservation plan — with multiple management objectives — that has the potential to benefit other flora and fauna such as monarchs, pollinating insects and others.
It also provides improved leverage of available resources and more benefit to the landscape. Forbs Are Foundational More than 5, native plant species grow within the bounds of the sagebrush ecosystem, including nearly 30 taxa of sagebrush and a significant number of monotypic and species-rich genera.
These forbs support a diverse abundance of invertebrates including herbivores, detritivores, predators and pollinators. In fact, in one Idaho sagebrush site, nearly 2, insect species have been identified. Interactions between forbs and pollinating insects occur at many levels.
At the species level, some forbs support an immense variety of insect pollinators. At the broader scale, abundance and diversity of insect pollinators are positively correlated with overall herbaceous plant species diversity.
This is most likely because temporal differences in blooming reduce inter-species competition for food sources, which is an important consideration when restoring habitat for insect pollinators including monarchs. Unlike bees that require nectar and pollen as a food source throughout their life cycle, adult monarchs are floral generalists that visit flowers only to obtain nectar, which is their primary energy source.
The butterflies also convert sugar in the nectar to body fat that sustains them during migration and through the winter when most flowering plants are dormant. This means that nectar sources are particularly important during late summer and fall as monarchs begin their long migration to overwintering sites either in the mountains of Mexico or along the California Coast.
Forbs are also crucial, directly and indirectly, to greater sage-grouse. Annual and perennial forbs are an especially critical dietary component for nesting and brooding hens and chicks.
Research shows that young chicks consume more than 66 forb taxa. Insects that feed on the forbs, along with other invertebrates, also serve as a high-protein food source for the birds.Executive Summary In , the U.
Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) designated the greater sage -grouse a Candidate species for protection under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Greater Sage-Grouse.
Candidate Conservation Agreement. for. The CCA is a voluntary agreement between the Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), the BLM, complementary strategy for livestock management to benefit sage-grouse habitats.
The Service and the BLM anticipate that permittees seeking to enroll individual allotments in. Welcome to the Montana state page for the U.S.
Fish and Wildlife Service greater sage-grouse website. Here you will find news, maps, conservation partners, and relevant information related to greater sage-grouse in the state.
Welcome to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service greater sage-grouse website. Here you will find news and updates, maps, conservation partners, and relevant information related to the greater sage-grouse species and learn about greater sage-grouse conservation efforts.
Restoring arid western habitats — from The Wildlife Professional. By R. Kasten Dumroese, Jeremiah R. Pinto and Deborah M. Finch Greater sage-grouse Declining greater sage-grouse populations also got a lot of attention when the U.S.
Fish and Wildlife Service determined that the species did not warrant listing as a federally endangered. 2 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, “Month Finding for Petitions to List the Greater Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) as Threatened or Endangered” (75 Federal Register , March 23, .