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Bi-State Sage Grouse listing to be reconsidered


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This news and analysis are provided by the Ornithological Council, a consortium supported by ornithological societies. Join or renew your membership in your ornithological society if you value the services these societies provide to you, including OrnithologyExchange and the Ornithological Council.

A federal court has reversed a 2020 decision by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which found that the Bi-State population of Sage Grouse, found along the Nevada-California border, did not warrant federal protection

In this week's ruling, the judge concluded that the USFWS did not use the best available science and therefore erred in concluding that the population "was above the minimum threshold for viability.” The court ordered the agency to reconsider and issue a new listing decision. Until that new decision is complete, the 2013 determination that the Bi-State population of Sage Grouse warrants protection as a threatened species is back in effect. 

Bi-state Sage Grouse exist in six separate population segments spread over 4.5 million acres in Nevada and California, totaling about 3,300 individuals. 

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