Sage Grouse Lek Count Finds Slight Decline

CHEYENNE, (AP) - Indications are that sage grouse populations in Wyoming have fallen the last two years and may fall again this year. However, a state report issued last month says the birds are still better off than previous population lows recorded in the 1990s.

A state Game and Fish official says weather conditions may have hurt chick survival. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is currently looking at whether the chicken-like bird should be considered for listing under the Endangered Species Act. The bird's populations have declined over the last half century.

Listing the bird could have huge implications for oil and gas development, grazing and other land uses in the West. Wyoming and other states are working to stave off federal
protections.

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