Greater Sage-Grouse
(Centrocercus urophasianus)


Picture of bird
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Two subspecies of the Greater Sage-Grouse occur in Canada. Centrocercus urophasianus urophasianus is restricted to the sagebrush grasslands of southeastern Alberta and southwestern Saskatchewan. This subspecies was assessed by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) as Endangered in 2008 (COSEWIC 2008c). The Canadian population is small and has shown a large and accelerating decrease since the 1970s. In 2013, the Government of Canada issued an Emergancy Order for the Protection of the Greater Sage-Grouse to protect its habitat. The subspecies C. u. phaios was formerly known from southern British Columbia, but was assessed by COSEWIC as Extirpated since it has not been observed in the Canadian part of its range for over 100 years (COSEWIC 2008c).


Listing of the main designations for the species
DesignationStatusDateSubspecies, population
COSEWIC (Canada)Extirpated2008Greater Sage-Grouse phaios subspecies
COSEWIC (Canada)Endangered2008Greater Sage-Grouse urophasianus subspecies
SARA (Canada)Extirpated2003Greater Sage-Grouse phaios subspecies
SARA (Canada)Endangered2003Greater Sage-Grouse urophasianus subspecies
IUCN (Global)Near threatened2012 
Partners in Flight (North America)Stewardship List, Watch List Species2012 
Wild Species (Canada)At Risk2010 
Partners in Flight (Tri-National Vision)High Tri-National Concern2012 

Population status

Geographic areaStatusReliability
CanadaLarge DecreaseHigh

Population estimate

Canada< 500 adults

Distribution maps


Migration strategy, occurrence


Responsibility for conservation of world population

CanadaVery Low

Conservation and management

The major threats to Greater Sage-Grouse in Canada are habitat loss and fragmentation through conversion of rangeland to crops and oil and gas development, habitat degradation as a result of overgrazing by livestock, direct disturbance to lekking and nesting birds, and alteration of local hydrology through the construction of dugouts, dams and reservoirs (COSEWIC 2008c). West Nile Virus also had an impact on Canadian populations. Finally, the lack of genetic variability is another concern (COSEWIC 2008c). For information on the legal status of this species under the Species at Risk Act (SARA) and to view the Recovery Strategy see the SARA Registry.


Bird conservation region strategies

Environment and Climate Change Canada and partners have developed Bird Conservation Region Strategies in each of Canada’s Bird Conservation Regions (BCRs). In these strategies, selected species are identified as priorities for one or more of the following reasons:

  • conservation concerns (i.e., species vulnerable due to population size, distribution, population trend, abundance, or threats)
  • stewardship responsibilities (i.e., species that typify the regional avifauna or have a large proportion of their range or population in the sub-region)
  • management concerns (i.e., species that require ongoing management because of their socio-economic importance as game species, or because of their impacts on other species or habitats)
  • other concerns (i.e., species deemed a priority by regional experts for other reasons than those listed above or because they are listed as species at risk or concern at the provincial level)

Select any of the sub-regions below to view the BCR strategy for additional details.

BCRs, marine biogeographic units, and sub-regions in which the species is listed as a priority
RegionSub-region and priority type