Sage Grouse Saga // Ocean Health

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Male greater sage grouse courting females on a lek.
Photo credit: US Fish & Wildlife Service

Sage Grouse Saga (start time: 4:04): One of the most spectacular and flamboyant rites of spring is, arguably, the mating ritual of a the greater sage grouse, a chicken-like bird with a long tail, with spiky tail feathers.  Its historic range spans 11 Western states, including Colorado. But that sagebrush-dominated habitat has been chopped up and degraded by oil and gas development, mining operations, cattle grazing and even wind farms–causing grouse populations to plunge. Since 2010 the bird has waited for a milestone decision, due by Sept. 30, by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to list it as threatened or endangered.  Biologist Noreen Walsh, director of the  Service’s Mountain-Prairie Region, discusses with How On Earth host Susan Moran the biology of this curious bird and a range-wide collaborative conservation initiative aimed at preserving the grouse and its habitat. Oh, check out this live “lek-cam,” from The Nature Conservancy.

Saved By SeaFragile Ocean (start time: 17:21) David Helvarg, a journalist and author of several books focusing on the ocean—its magnificent and imperiled creatures–discusses his books Saved By the Sea: Hope, Heartbreak and Wonder in the Blue World, and 50 Ways To Save the Ocean.   Founder and executive director of Blue Frontier Campaign, Helvarg shows how residents of land-locked Colorado depend on and affect the ocean. He will speaking in Boulder this Thursday, April 30, at 6:30 p.m. at Ocean First Divers. It’s a “Blue Drinks” event put on by the Boulder-based nonprofit, Colorado Ocean Coalition.

Hosts: Susan Moran, Kendra Krueger
Producer: Susan Moran
Engineer: Kendra Krueger
Executive Producer: Susan Moran
Headline contributions: Beth Bennett

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