The number of greater sage grouse in Wyoming continues to grow, at least for now.
Biologists and others who fanned out across Wyoming this spring counted more male sage grouse at mating areas than in any year since 2007.
Tom Christiansen with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department said Tuesday wet weather without too much snow helped the chicken-sized, ground-dwelling birds.
Numbers are up three years in a row but populations can fluctuate sharply from year to year. Christiansen says the long-term trend is what’s important.
Wyoming has more sage grouse than any other state. The count hit a low point in the mid-1990s before recovering to a recent high in 2006.
Federal officials decided last year not to protect the greater sage grouse as a threatened or endangered species.