This study used public land records to characterize livestock grazing across Wyoming, USA, and we used greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) as a model organism to evaluate responses to livestock management. The study found grazing can have both positive and negative effects on sage-grouse populations depending on the timing and level of grazing. Sage-grouse populations responded positively to higher grazing levels after peak vegetation productivity, but populations declined when similar grazing levels occurred earlier, likely reflecting the sensitivity of cool-season grasses to grazing during peak growth periods. Likely the effects of grazing management vary with local vegetation productivity.
>> Read more