I read an article at the ecojustice blog two weeks ago about the Greater Sage-Grouse’s predicament, and the situation is so serious I thought I would share it with my readers. As Kimberly Shearon of ecojustice writes:
The plight of Canada’s sage-grouse presents perhaps the most compelling case for federal intervention under SARA that Ecojustice has ever seen. Between 1988 and 2006, nearly 90 percent of Canada’s sage grouse — which once numbered in the thousands and could be found throughout British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan’s sage-brush grasslands — died off.
The Greater Sage-Grouse use to be found across Canada in the sage-brush grasslands, but now they can be only found in a few parts of Alberta and Saskatchewan. Alberta’s grouse population is approximately around 30 birds, and scientists estimate that there are only 13 male sage grouse in Alberta and 43 in Saskatchewan.
The main cause of the decline is human disturbance of the sage-grouse habitat. Oil and gas and other development on the areas where sage-grouse breed, winter, nest and raise their young is a leading factor in their population drop. I know this is a problem because within 20 miles of our farm there has been a considerable increase in gas and oil well development in the past year. Farmers’ fields and pastures are scraped clear of grass and topsoil, rendering useless what would have been a field or a pasture that could have sustained some sort of bird life.
I am hoping that the Canadian Minister of the Environment Peter Kent does something to help these wonderful birds. It would be terrible if we were to lose them.
You can read more about the Greater Sage-Grouse at these links:
Group say sage grouse in danger (Calgary Herald)
Taking the feds to court over Canada’s Sage-grouse (ecojustice)