Sunrise light on a grove of tufa towers emerging from the water of Mono Lake with soft green and dusty-red wild grasses in the foreground, Canada geese in the shallow water with reflections of the rocky towers, and desert hills in the distance.

Proposal to list the Mono Basin Greater Sage-Grouse population as threatened

The US Fish & Wildlife Service has proposed to list the  Mono Basin area Greater Sage-Grouse as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. The proposal was released yesterday, October 25.

Greater Sage-Grouse. Photo courtesy of

Technically known as the Bi-State Distinct Population Segment (Bi State DPS), this group of Greater Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) exists in Alpine, Mono, and northern Inyo counties in California as well as portions of western Nevada. The population is relatively isolated and genetically distinct.

Six population management units (PMU) were identified in 2001, including Bodie and South Mono. Each PMU has its own set of threats, but the Bodie and South Mono PMUs consist of the bulk of the population (an estimated 70% of known birds). Threats include habitat loss and fragmentation, non-native cheatgrass expansion, and wildfire impacts, among several others.

Additionally, critical habitat designation has also been proposed. Further information for public meetings and a comment period is outlined in the proposal.

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