Saturday, 16 January 2016 13:08

Alberta’s decimated Sage Grouse population to get another boost from Montana (video, photo)

Written by Michael Short
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Not all that long ago Alberta’s Sage Grouse population was down to twelve males. The province turned to Montana for help. Their question... would it be possible to re-locate some of their Sage Grouse into Alberta? The answer was yes. The province has requested an additional 40 Sage Grouse to be translocated this year in order to stimulate our population. This could be the first of three such possible transfers proposed over the next five years. Habitat protection, or rather the lack of it, has been the biggest threat to Sage Grouse being able to make any kind of recovery in southern Alberta.

Sage-grouse need a lot of territory and that is getting difficult to find. Between oil and gas development, ranching and farming operations, as well as predation, there are many challenges facing the natural re-population of the grouse. A number of conservation groups — the Alberta Conservation Association, Alberta Fish and Game Association, Pheasants Forever, Nature Conservancy of Canada and Grasslands Naturalists — are doing their part to ensure these birds have at least a fighting chance to flourish. Let’s Go Outdoors was on hand to watch the capture and release of the first Montana birds to be relocated to Alberta.

Video Summary — Alberta's sage-grouse population just a few short years ago was listed at 12 males. Now with the help from the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, Alberta may now have a chance at increasing its sage-grouse population. We take a look at how these birds were captured, examined by veterinarians and even fitted with transmitters before being released into their new home range in Alberta.
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