Weighing the Fate of the Gunnison Sage-Grouse

By John Fitzpatrick, director of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. See also his New York Times op-ed about this issue 
March 6, 2013
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UPDATE Nov. 12, 2014: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced their decision to list the Gunnison Sage-Grouse as Threatened under the Endangered Species Act. For more about what this decision means for the future of this species, see our tip sheet: Federal Listing of Gunnison Sage-Grouse as “Threatened” Is a Wise Compromise and Good Outcome for State and Local Recovery Efforts and this commentary by conservation science director Amanda Rodewald.

UPDATE 2: Owing to public interest, the Fish and Wildlife Service has extended the public comment period until April 2, 2013.

UPDATE: We received many requests from readers for information on how to submit a public comment on the proposed listing of the Gunnison Sage-Grouse. You can comment on this page anytime up to Tuesday, April 2, 2013. The page also includes links to the proposed rule (for reference) and other ways to comment. Our thanks to reader Erin Mooney for help finding this information.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has issued a call for public comments to inform their decision on listing the Gunnison Sage-Grouse. The deadline for comments is March 12, 2013. 

The most remarkable discovery in a century of American ornithology came in the late 1990s, when scientists described a new species: the Gunnison Sage-Grouse. Hiding in plain sight across a swath of sagebrush in southern Colorado and Utah, the species had been hunted for food by generations of pioneers and twentieth-century ranchers. Yet it took an industrious graduate student named Jessica Young to recognize that this southerly population differed substantially in size, plumage, display behavior, and voice from the Greater Sage-Grouse that lives across the remainder of the West’s vast sagebrush country. The Gunnison Basin of western Colorado was home to the new species’ largest remaining population, and so it was named for that beautiful landmark.

There was little joy in this stunning discovery, however. It was instantly recognized that this flagship of the southern sagebrush country had disappeared from most of its ancestral range because of human impacts: habitat conversion for agriculture; oil and gas development; residential development; pinyon-juniper encroachment; and effects of invasive plants such as cheatgrass. Today, the Gunnison Sage-Grouse is our choice for the most biologically endangered bird species in North America. The need for legal protection under the Endangered Species Act is urgent.

Some private landowners, including those who lease public lands from federal agencies such as the Bureau of Land Management, have argued against listing Gunnison Sage-Grouse as an endangered species, and state agencies have tended to side with them. They cite the importance of voluntary conservation measures such as habitat set-asides and detailed monitoring.

Private landowners are indeed essential partners for conservation in the West, but the plight of the Gunnison Sage-Grouse now requires more than voluntary efforts. All the monitoring data, without exception, point to one unambiguous conclusion: Gunnison Sage-Grouse numbers are plummeting. Everywhere. This species is going extinct, right before our eyes. Nobody on any side of the listing debate questions the numbers—fewer than 5,000 birds. There are so few left that we essentially know where they all are, and we can count them as their numbers go down each year. Recent, prolonged drought across the western U.S. has reduced reproductive output, making matters even worse.

Today, the Gunnison Sage-Grouse is confined to seven genetically isolated populations in southern Colorado, plus one tiny population barely hanging on near Moab, Utah (see USFWS map). They are increasingly subject to the dreaded “extinction vortex”—loss of genetic variability reduces fertility and survival, which limits recruitment, thereby reducing numbers in the next generation. (The grouse’s unusual lek mating system makes them especially prone to this, because only a few males breed in any generation.) As populations become tiny, genetic variability shrinks even further, and random effects such as storms, drought, or even one especially savvy coyote, have greater and greater probability of extirpating the population entirely.

In the face of these threats, and considering that no major population is fully protected or stable—in the wild or in captivity—Gunnison Sage-Grouse must rank as the most biologically endangered bird species in all of continental North America. The only other serious candidates are California Condor, Whooping Crane, and Kirtland’s Warbler, but all three of these species are beneficiaries of copious federal spending, public-private partnerships, and captive breeding or parasite control. And they all now have steadily growing populations within large, protected landscapes.

gunnison sage-grouse by Gerrit VynA displaying male Gunnison Sage-Grouse. Photo by Gerrit Vyn.

In 2006 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service declined to place Gunnison Sage-Grouse on the Endangered Species List. In 2010, in response to a lawsuit, the Service issued a “warranted but precluded” finding—the correct first step. We believe it is time to take the next step, as no serious biologist can escape the conclusion that this species meets all the criteria for Endangered listing under the Endangered Species Act.

Examining the facts rationally, we can reach only one conclusion in this case.

  • 1. Efforts by public agencies and private landowners to stem the declines and stabilize local populations of Gunnison Sage-Grouse (e.g., private land easements, voluntary conservation plans, community education) have failed.
  • 2. The Gunnison Sage-Grouse is now in imminent danger of a series of local population collapses which, when they occur, will result in extinction of the species.
  • 3. The Endangered Species Act has repeatedly proven itself to work extremely well, especially for high-profile species that are threatened by forces we understand and can reverse.
  • 4. Gunnison Sage-Grouse is an American emblem worthy of investment and preservation. It is a flagship for the uniquely American sagebrush ecosystem; it will stand forever as a stirring discovery of a new North American species in the modern age; and it is widely invoked as a classic example of how, under certain social and ecological conditions, evolution produces distinctive behavior and ornamentation in isolation.

Conclusion: It is now urgent that the Gunnison Sage-Grouse be listed as an Endangered Species, and that a Recovery Team be assembled and charged with fast-tracking a series of recommended steps for halting the decline and imminent extinction of this remarkable bird.



  • Ruth McVeigh

    I definitely support conservation efforts being made to save this wonderful bird and I hope steps will be taken to stop the decline and imminent extinction of the Gunnison sage-grouse. The sou8nd it makes is so unique – I would love to hear it in the wild.

  • Melody McFarland

    This bird clearly needs government intervention since we can’t rely on the public to look past their own immediate desires and do the right thing.

  • Robert Sargent

    I advocate limiting / cancelling grazing rights on lands where there is a population of these endangered birds.

  • Mrs. Mary Roberts

    Please reply with information on how to petition for listing of this beautiful bird.

    Thank you…

    Mary Roberts

  • Colin Wood

    We need to protect this spectacular bird.
    We cannot afford to let another species go to extinction.

  • Laura Dent

    There should never have been any question about whether or not to place them on the Endangered List. They should also be heavily into a captive breeding program & re-introduction program elsewhere to make every effort to increase the numbers and diversify the ‘local’ breeding pattern. The birds should not be hunted until or unless their numbers are substantially increased & maybe not even then given their slow mating history.

  • Patricia Bryan

    Was there a link somewhere in all of this to send a comment to the US Fish & Wildlife Service regarding putting this magnificent bird on the Endangered Species List? I clicked on a lot of things but never found anything. Usually there is a form that you can submit for comments on topics such as this. Thank goodness the Birds of Paradise don’t inhabit the USA.

  • Joe Jarrell

    I clearly do not want the Gunnison Sage Grouse to go away from its native habititat. The government of the U.S.A. needs stop its demise by whatever means necessary.

  • Patricia O’Neall

    Please take whatever actions are necessary to save the Gunnison Sage grouse, including putting it under the protection of the Endangered Species Act.

  • Wynnelle Wilson

    The Gunnison Sage-Grouse is one of the most endabgered species in North America. It is vital that the species receive full Emdangered Species protection this year, before its numbers drop below the critical level from which recovery would be impossible.

  • ALicia ALexander

    Put this fabulous little guy on The Endangered Species List ASAP!

  • Russell Owings

    The logical decision is to place the Gunnison Sage-Grouse on the endangered species list and I hope this will be the case. Unfortunately our current leadership is Washington will only find money to fund programs that will get them re-elected and I don’t think conservation will be considered. Maybe consider a tax or voluntary contribution on hunting licenses. Russell

  • Monica S. Cassels

    Wonderful bird! Thanks!

  • Mary Flowers

    Please add this glorious bird to the Endangered Species list. It would be a tragedy if this unique bird disappeared from our landscape.

  • Jessica Duke

    I agree that the Gunnison Sage-Grouse is worthy of investment and preservation. I certainly hope that it can be listed as an Endangered Species.

  • Marjorie Oakes

    I would be more than happy to have them protected under the endangered species act however I don’t know how that would be successfully monitored.

    People who killed and ate them would continue to do so. Only if someone were foolish enough to have them stuffed and mounted on display would they be likely to be apprehended.

  • virginia jackson

    good luck with efforts to protect the Gunnison Sage-Grouse . what a spectacular bird.

  • Debbie Vardaro

    I live in Virginia, but if there is a Petition that you would like me to sign to save the Gunnison Sage-Grouse I will. I hate to see the habitats of so many animals being taken away. A couple of years ago I had 2 Canebrake Rattle Snakes in my yard. They are on the Endangered list here. I was on the phone for 2 hrs. before I found a rescue group to help relocate them with the help of the Va. Game and Inland Fisheries. Many people wanted to kill them but I wouldn’t let that happen. They were safely relocated. Debbie Vardaro

  • Barbara

    Save the Gunnison Sage-Grouse by placing it on the Endangered Species list.

  • Lisa Peters

    I always find it curious how amazing creatures who have been on earth longer than any Caucasian are so casually and easily exterminated. Oftentimes without even a second look back. Beautiful species such as the Gunnison Sage-Grouse deserve our awe and compassion. It is our responsibility to stand up and speak out on behalf of these wonderful creatures who, behind the scenes, grace our lives. Thank you.

  • It is situations such as these that have inspired me to work on a new series of films bringing nature to humans. We have become so out of touch with our environment, especially now that over 50% of humanity lives in urban areas, that we have very little understanding of how the way that we live impacts the environment upon which we depend. I hope you will consider labeling this bird as endangered in order to improve the chances of its habitat being protected.

  • I support the strong recommendation to list the Gunnison’s Sage Grouse as an Endangered Species under the federal Endangered Species Act. Despite attempts by private landowners using land easements and voluntary conservation programs, their populations continues to decline. This is a remarkable bird species, deserving of our protection and exactly what the Endagered Species Act was passed to protect.

  • Leland Mote

    I agree. The Gunnison Sage-Grouse needs to be protected as an endangereed species.

  • lnda polefka

    there are NO excuses for leaving this beautiful bird off the Endangered Species List!!!

  • Sharon Scheib

    These magnificent and magical birds are an important part of our national heritage. Please don’t let them become extinct because of inaction! Let’s protect them as the endangered species they are so our grandchildren can marvel at them as we have.

  • I think the Gunnison Sage-Grouse should be added as an endangered species and protected.

  • Marilyn Shie

    By all means, the Gunnison Sage-Grouse should be placed on he endangered list. No species should be allowed to disappear from the earth. It is not another dodo bird.

  • Betty Huff

    Unless the Gunnison Sage-Grouse is placed on the Endangered Species List, in all likelihood it will become extinct. Please place the Endangered Species List.

  • I can only agree with the comment above, and note the continuing denudation of our native flora and fauna, and the need to protect them. These species have existed for millions of years, their lineage is the common lineage of all life on earth, and for us to destroy them out of nothing more than greed and the desire to hunt and kill, is horrifying. Please please help protect these and other endangered species!

  • Joe Bartell

    Please do what ever is needed to save the species.Contact local and Colorado Audubon for help in funding the projects.

  • Carla Winger

    So neat to watch. Beautiful!!

  • Ronald Wehrheim

    The endangered species act requires that this bird (Gunnison Sage Grouse) be listed in need of our protection. Failure to place this bird under the protection of endangered status is a failure on the part of the agency to carry out its mission.

  • Sara Van Wormer

    It seems to me that this bird should be protected based on a number of different factors, but for me, it boils down to one: if we have just recently identified this species of bird, why would we not do all that we can to protect it?

  • Andrea

    List it as endangered

  • Susan Hoecker-Drysdale

    It is absolutely essential that the Gunnison Sage-Grouse be listed immediately on the Endangered Species List and that all possible efforts be taken to protect them and their habitats. This means requiring oil, gas and pipeline companies, land development of all kinds and agricultural and other types of developers to observe strict regulations to protect these birds. We cannot wait and regulations need to go into effect very soon!!

  • I agree with the premise that this beautiful bird is endangered and should be protected from extinction.
    This is certainly a special species in a special habitat that need protection from development and changing environment.

  • judith Lax

    It would be a tragedy to lose this amazingly wonderful and unique species to the capriciousness of our private and public conscience.

  • Sally Vaun

    We have lost a number of birds and animals going extinct, it is important to save this one before its lost!

  • Floy Blair

    Iy would be a shame to allow this beautiful and most unusual bird to become extinct. It belongs on the most endangered species list.

  • barbara weeks

    It is urgent to list the Gunnison Sage-Grouse as an endangered species before it disappears forever.

  • nancy perkins

    Once gone, they don’t return. It’s the story of mankind’s effect on earth’s other species. Let’s give these birds a fighting chance.

  • Georgia Mattingly

    Save this magnificent bird, the Gunnison Sage-Grouse.

  • Joan McMurray

    Based on information given by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology I believe that the Gunison Sage-Groose should be placed on the endangered species list and urge that this action be done immediately.

  • Catherine W Brilmyer

    All species are worth saving. Lets save this grouse.

  • Pauline Berkeley

    I completely agree with the recommendations made for the Gunnison Sage-Grouse. I would hope that it would be placed on the Endangered Species list and measures would be taken to save the species. It is very important that we save this species and others from extinction.

  • Rusty Kavendek

    YES: It is now urgent that the Gunnison Sage-Grouse be listed as an Endangered Species, and that a Recovery Team be assembled and charged with fast-tracking a series of recommended steps for halting the decline and imminent extinction of this remarkable bird.

  • Cat Mckenzie

    It would seem that Voluntary conservation among Hunters, of this gorgeous little Game Bird, is a lot like asking the Fox to watch over the chickens. The temptation is too great, and the punishment is non existent should friend Fox decide he was hungry for chicken ( or Hunter for Grouse). I would urge to take whatever measures necessary to have this Species protected , fully, by Law. If it took a Grad Student to mark the differences in plumage and call, how is a Hunter to do this through a scope ?

  • Ms. Susan E. Caputi

    Human beings have the intelligence toplan and deal with consequences of those plans and yet we need comments to initiate this listing as an Endangered Species. I am still amazed at our lack of priorities when it comes to deciding the fate of any species.What power we have and yet we abuse it or often don’t act so we can say that the fate of a declining species is part of the natural process and we shouldn’t interfere when it is often our fault, directly or indirectly. We abdicate our Whenresponsibilty in order to allay our own guilt. When will this rationalization for a lack of purposeful action stop? When all species have become extinct except our own?

  • Mary Kummerfeldt

    What will this cost? Do you have the people to do this?
    I am all for it. They are very interesting to watch.

  • Annette

    This was very beautiful.

  • Appreciate the fact that both public and private agencies have been trying to preserve the species. Seems the efforts have been unsuccessful so it seems time to launch an all-out recovery team effort. Bring on listing as an Endangered Species!!!

  • Jean Arrowsmith

    Fish and Wildlife needs to act NOW, not next year, to protect this vulnerable species from extinction.

  • Reveira Wilcove

    Please place the Gunnison Sage Grouse on the endangered species list.

  • Stan Shadick

    I hope the Gunnison Sage-Grouse will be placed on the Endangered Species list. Even the similar Greater Sage-Grouse is declining rapidly in our region.

  • Louis Hoerr

    Wow – Grouse are known for wonderful displays, but this one species tops the others for it’s varied and layered plumage, especially in the hind quarters. I find the accompanying vocalization to be subtly regal. The pop of the darker gullet from behind the white chest just adds to this grand display. Let’s get the federal funds and longer protection time period afforded by the Endangered Species Act involved here. I grew up in St. Louis, MO and miss the calls and common site of the Bobwhite Quail during these recent times. It’s populations have plummeted. Let’s not allow the Gunnison Sage-Grouse fall into decline and extinction when we have an opportunity to bring it’s numbers up and reach a sustainable population to ensure genetic variability.

  • Cheryl Bennett

    In the 1960s, my dad & his buddy had a place in upper western NY where they hunted grouse and marveled over their displays. This site was so important to him that he wouldn’t even tell his own family where it was because he knew that it was special and endangered from encroachment by developers. I doubt that it exists today. Please save whatever land you can for wildlife.

  • They are such a unique and beautiful bird we should try to save them!

  • It is such a beautiful and unique bird ;we definally need to try to save them!

  • Ruth Stewart

    I spent much of my childhood in the southern Colorado area that is the habitat of the Gunnison sage grouse, and love the flora and fauna. These marvels of nature must be preserved and it will undoubtedly take coverage by the Endangered Species Act for this to happen. Please do whatever is necessary to do this and preserve the beauty of this planet.

  • Alan Coulter

    I agree wholeheartedly with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology that the Gunnison Sage-Grouse merits Endangered Species protection! What is the assessment that differs, and on what basis? When a species has such a limited population, voluntary conservation measures are not enough.
    Thank you.
    Alan Coulter

  • Richard Collins

    Here in SE New Mexico the same arguments are being voiced against the listing of an indigenous bird. Big money in the form of oil & gas and ranching has drummed up fanatical opposition to listing the Lesser Praire Chicken as endangered. Rep. Steve Pearce (R) NM, is the most visible, and vitriolic, opponent. I hope common sense will prevail for both and that the Gunnison Sage-Grouse and the Lesser Praire Chicken to get the protection they need.

    “The last word in ignorance is the man who says of an animal or plant, ‘What good is it?’ If the land mechanism as a whole is good, then every part is good, whether we understand it or not. If the biota, in the course of aeons, has built something we like but do not understand, then who but a fool would discard seemingly useless parts? To keep every cog and wheel is the first precaution in intelligent tinkering.”
    -Aldo Leopold

  • Ron

    Now I know why we say Grouse when we are pleased. Totally stunning, just beautiful and so well presented I loved every second of it

  • Shirley Craine

    I was very surprised to learn of this bird and its narrow window.

    OF course this bird needs to be put on the Endangered Species list.

  • mick clark

    Any species extinction is simply an unacceptable risk to take. We have learned that from past mistakes and consequently we have no excuse for permitting it again.

  • Nancy Pihlaja

    I’ve been to Gunnison, Colorado, and other western states relishing all the wonderful birds unique to the area. It would certainly be a shame to lose this beautiful bird especially when we have resources to help prevent such a disaster.

  • Jean Matter

    I hope these birds can be included in the Endangered Species Act.
    I remember seeing them near the Gunnison airport 4 years ago along with their brood.

  • I have never,ever seen a Bird like this before. this bird is allmost humane like.this is so strange. I love this Bird. This Bird is great. I live in Long beach ca. and I have fed the birds for 16 yrs. now. I have a raven who has come to me for 3 yrs. He is my baby. He comes calls me. flys down and takes food from my hands. I love him.

  • Pat Warren

    Any specie in danger of extinction needs to be protected and saved. It’s simply the right thing to do..

  • Nancy G.B. First

    When a species like the Gunnison Sage-Grouse nears extinction and we know it, this is our unique chance to save, preserve and value an important and significant bird while we still can.

    Let us list it right now as an Endangered Species and let a Recovery Team be assembled to take all the steps necessary.

  • robert bowman

    List it as Endangerd Species !!!

  • Genevieve Welchman

    This most beautiful bird male and female Must be put on the endangered species list !
    Thank you,!

  • Rita Fernando

    Without a doubt, every effort should be made to include this extraordinary bird,on the endangered species list as soon as possible so that its beauty and rarities can continue to be appreciated. It is indeed unbelievable that no effort has been made all these years to do so. It seems that the habitat and environment necessary for its survival should be given priority and restored.

  • Please list the Gunnison Sage-Grouse as an endangered species. With only 5000 left it is in ever increasing danger of going extinct!

  • Wally Rentsch

    It is important that the USA list the Gunnison Sage-Grouse as an Endangered Species, and that a Recovery Team be assembled and charged with fast-tracking a series of recommended steps for haltng the decline and imminent extinction of this remarkable and unique bird.

  • Martha Bishop

    What an amazing bird! Can’t we protect this rare and beautiful life?

  • Daniel Reuben

    Wonderful nature must be saved and restores; or generations to come will never see this amezing dance “live”.

  • Erin Mooney

    This is a great post, but you don’t show HOW to make a comment in the Federal Register, which took me quite a while to find. Can you not give step by step directions? Thanks.

  • Erin Mooney

    I have created an image that shows how to make comments on the proposal at this site:

    Hope that helps.

  • Diane Bahr

    We must do everything to prevent the extinction of this magnificent bird. If any species deserves endangered species status it’s the Gunnison Sage-Grouse.

  • Karen

    How can humans regard ourselves as a ‘higher species’ and refuse to exercise our creativity and ingenuity to co-exist successfully with other creatures who share our planet? Being responsible custodians is a small price to pay for the privilege being the dominant sentient beings living on planet Earth.

  • Laura M Eppig

    I can only quote the attached article as extremely valid reasons for listing this fascinating bird as an Endangered Species. see below
    ” Efforts by public agencies and private landowners to stem the declines and stabilize local populations of Gunnison Sage-Grouse (e.g., private land easements, voluntary conservation plans, community education) have failed.
    The Gunnison Sage-Grouse is now in imminent danger of a series of local population collapses which, when they occur, will result in extinction of the species.
    The Endangered Species Act has repeatedly proven itself to work extremely well, especially for high-profile species that are threatened by forces we understand and can reverse.
    Gunnison Sage-Grouse is an American emblem worthy of investment and preservation. It is a flagship for the uniquely American sagebrush ecosystem; it will stand forever as a stirring discovery of a new North American species in the modern age; and it is widely invoked as a classic example of how, under certain social and ecological conditions, evolution produces distinctive behavior and ornamentation in isolation.

    Conclusion: It is now urgent that the Gunnison Sage-Grouse be listed as an Endangered Species, and that a Recovery Team be assembled and charged with fast-tracking a series of recommended steps for halting the decline and imminent extinction of this remarkable bird. “

  • Carolyn Brannen

    Many remarkable bird species have disappeared. It would be regrettable to knowingly let this happen now when we have a chance to keep this amazing bird from extinction.
    We must act to list the Gunnison
    Sage-Grouse as an Endangered Species!

  • Elizabeth Roedell

    Thank you Erin Mooney for making it so easy for everyone to post a comment to the government website.

  • I want to vote for the endangered species protection of this wonderful Sage-Grouse!

    How can I do that!!!

    Your site adds joy and excitment to my life!!! Thank you so much!!!

  • pa

    thanks erin mooney for showing me how to make my voice heard. the original poster should have done this, but since they didn’t, good on ya!

  • Hugh

    Hi Erin, thanks very much for posting this information. We have edited the top of the post to add in this information (including a direct link to the comment page at regulations.gov). – Hugh

  • Sandi Lord

    Please consider exporting some of these birds to California, which may have all the requirements to help this bird rebound. We sure have plenty of protected areas and coastal sage scrub as well as other habitats in our large state, where these birds can live without fear of habitat loss.
    And yes, please protect these beautiful birds.

  • K McInerny

    Please add the Gunnison sage-grouse to the endangered species list.

  • Sherry Young

    Please make all efforts to save and expand this remarkable bird!!

  • Rain

    It’s a no-brainer that the Gunnison Sage-Grouse must be listed as endangered before it is too late. Development, loss of habitat, extreme weather…these will continue in the face of a species that will surely decline.

  • Judy Tims

    Thanks to Cornell and all who have made us aware of this problem. I live in CA and have never seen one of these spectacular birds. I will tell others about joining all who want to see this species saved from extinction by listing the Gunninson Sage-Grouse.

  • Colleen Dowd

    Even as a hunter and fisherperson I can’t believe it is with reservations that this awesome bird is not on the Endangered Species List. It is so unique that we should not let this beautiful species become extinct. I truly enjoyed the video of this bird and we need to preserve this bird for generations to come.

  • Barbara Crask

    I definately feel this bird should be put on the ESL. Greed has lost a lot of the beauty of wildlife and their habitat. We need to make room for all God’s creatures not just a greedy few.

  • lee rudin

    Thank you Erin Mooney for providing the link. When the FWS don’t provide an easy to use link, how serious can they be? Waiting since 2000 for listing the grouse, not very!

  • Edward Ames

    Only if we know someone who can make a more interesting and long-surviving bird should we let such a creature fall prey to our enlightened 21st century.

  • Virginia Copenhefer

    This amazing bird must be saved.

  • I strongly recommend that this fine bird be included on the endangered list. I had the opportunity to see its cousin in an area close to Santa Fe, New Mexico. The ground cover in that urban area was maintained with the same natural habitat without grass lawns and used what looked like sage and local trees. The owner of the house I was visiting had a feeder and water on the ground for them.

  • glenn

    this is a fine bird. but what will be done for it? are all those landowner going to lose their land to save the bird? even those who were making efforts for the bird. what the government and their “green” friends must do is something better than just cheering on the “good” guys and alienating the rural folk. how about a captive breeding program? do it even without the gov. okay thru Hogle Zoo or some like facility. Is there an avian disease? or, as with the spotted owl, competition from a similar species? I live in a rural area, love birds but am skeptical of much science that goes on. “noble cause corruption” is what its called. Look in my area the Yellow billed magpie suffered serious declines, mainly due to disease. the disease had its US origins in NYC. So in a sense those of you out East saying “I’m not responsible” are dead wrong. thanks.

  • The case for preservation of the Gunnison Sage-Grouse is made very clearly on the Cornell Ornithology web site both in argument and video.
    Could we justify the loss of this bird to future generations?

  • bunnie

    yes indeed this bird should be on the endangered bird species list
    why is man so arrogant as to think other forms of life have no place on this planet.
    beautiful birds-save them!!

  • DAN

    This Sage-Grouse is no different than any other Sage-Grouse If listed Most of Dolores County one of the poorest countys in Colorado will be shut down land our great grandperents homesteaded and passed down to us will be worthless we will not be able to farm graze or even walk on our own land. We love the land and take care of it These birds did well tell the federal and state goverment failed to take care of preditor control. Which they have not even done a study on. The birds would once again flourish if preditor’s were brought back into managable numbers all without infringing on our 5th amendment rights


  • Chase Wolfer

    I never knew this bird existed until I saw the film. I will pass this along to my birding friends. I would like to be in the loop and if I can do anything to help rescue this wonderful bird

  • skque

    This Gunnison Sage – Grouse is definitely a beautiful bird and it would be a pity for it to be extinct. I would love to see this bird one day…in person.

  • please protect these birds, I own a cockatiel and know how important it is for my bird to have just the right things to make him be able to live, I want this beautiful bird with the uniqueness that makes it what it is to continue on please do what you need to help this, of course I will pray for this as are government isn’t very reliable these days the bird may be extinct by the time they pay us any mind.

  • help this bird survive.

Weighing the Fate of the Gunnison Sage-Grouse