New research technique to help estimate Sage-Grouse population

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO/KJCT News)-- A new genetic technique is now being used to determine the population size of the Greater Sage-Grouse.

Researchers say they will collect data from the bird's feces to accurately estimate population size. CPW has been working with Colorado State University and U.S. Geological Survey to research the Greater Sage-Grouse population in the Garfield and Rio Blanco counties. Results show the Sage-Grouse population more than doubled in the Parachute-Piceance-Roan area.

"We were pleasantly surprised. The trend and the data were very similar to our estimates for the numbers of males from the genetic mark recapture. But this method also allows us to get estimates of females, which are key for healthy Sage-Grouse populations," says CPW Wildlife Researcher, Brett Walker.

Proposed oil and gas drilling has threatened its habitat over the years.

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