Idaho sage grouse numbers flat, hunting could be restricted

Trump opens sage grouse habitat to oil, gas drilling
US Fish & Wildlife Service
The Trump administration moved to amend Obama-era protections on the habitat of the sage grouse bird, potentially opening up vast areas of land in the western United States for oil and gas drilling.

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The Idaho Department of Fish and Game says sage grouse numbers have remained mostly flat this year.

Each year the department counts number of birds at leks, the communal breeding grounds where male grouse put on elaborate breeding displays in hopes of attracting females.

The Times-News reports Idaho’s sage grouse declined by about 53% from 2016 to 2019, and birds north of the Snake River have been disappearing in even greater numbers.

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game is proposing a two-day hunting season for some areas north of the Snake River and one seven-day hunting season in a region south of the Snake River.