Spatially explicit modeling of annual and seasonal habitat for greater sage-grouse in Nevada and northeastern California – An updated decision-support tool for management

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This report provides an updated process for mapping relative habitat suitability and management categories for sage-grouse in Nevada and northeastern California.

Updates include:

  • adding radio and GPS telemetry locations from sage-grouse monitored at multiple sites during 2014 to the original location dataset beginning in 1998
  • integrating output from high resolution maps (1–2 m2) of sagebrush and pinyon-juniper cover as covariates in resource selection models
  • modifying the spatial extent of the analyses to match newly available vegetation layers
  • explicit modeling of relative habitat suitability during three seasons (spring, summer, winter) that corresponded to critical life history periods for sage-grouse (breeding, brood-rearing, over-wintering)
  • accounting for differences in habitat availability between more mesic sagebrush steppe communities in the northern part of the study area and drier Great Basin sagebrush in more southerly regions by categorizing continuous region-wide surfaces of habitat suitability index (HSI) with independent locations falling within two hydrological zones
  • integrating the three seasonal maps into a composite map of annual relative habitat suitability
  • deriving updated land management categories based on previously determined cut-points for intersections of habitat suitability and an updated index of sage-grouse abundance and space-use (AUI)
  • masking urban footprints and major roadways out of the final map products.