Greater Sage-Grouse are found in Canada’s southernmost native prairies where sagebrush grows. Specifically, they are found in southwestern Saskatchewan and southeastern Alberta.

Greater Sage-Grouse are listed as endangered under the federal Species at Risk Act (SARA). Sage grouse now occupy only about 7% of their historical range in Canada. The estimated number of Greater Sage-Grouse in Canada has fallen to an all-time low level. Although the Grasslands National Park population has been showing signs of slow recovery, it is still 46.9% lower than the long-term average (1995 to 2017) of 41 dancing males for both blocks combined.

Populations in Canada are currently threatened by a number of factors, such as habitat loss and degradation, extreme weather conditions, industrial disturbance, predation, and disease. Habitat changes that reduce or degrade the size and quality of sagebrush vegetation can have negative consequences for the Greater Sage-Grouse.

Protecting species

Habitat assessments have assessed the condition of nesting and brood-rearing habitat by measuring sagebrush cover, grass and forb cover, vegetation height and density. In collaboration with partners (University of Alberta) and volunteers, in 2016 and 2017 Grasslands National Park has conducted habitat enhancement activities that occurred in 2016 and 2017 by planting 6000 sage plugs and overall enhancing 42 ha of sage-grouse habitat through seeding of sagebrush and native forbs. Furthermore, the Park has been working with local stakeholders and neighbours to introduce beneficial grazing and optimize sage-grouse nesting and brood rearing habitat quality at a larger scale. Finally, the Park removed 56 km of fences and marked additional 42 km to minimize the risk of collision and mortality of individual birds, Enhancement activities will continue to be priorities for Grasslands National Park for 2018 and 2019, during which we will continue to monitor the sage-grouse population.

How You Can Help

Contact us for details on volunteer opportunities!

Connecting with nature

Did you know?

The historical range of Sage-Grouse has been reduced by 94% in prairie Canada. This is one of the few places in Canada you may be fortunate to see this endangered bird.

How to identify:

Greater Sage-Grouse or Sharp-tailed Grouse? Sage-Grouse are very rare in Canada and Sharp-tailed Grouse are comparably common. Sage-Grouse only exist in large tracts of sagebrush habitat.

Where to view

Sage brush flats in the Frenchman Valley and Rock Creek tributaries.