(EnviroNews Idaho) — There’s been a lot in the way of local news about the imperiled Centrocercus urophasianus as of late, or sage grouse as it is commonly called. State governments and ranchers, as well as coal, oil, gas and mining companies, all have their meddling-hands in the issue in an effort to keep the bird from being listed to the endangered species list, as a court-ordered decision deadline of Sept. 30 2015, hammered down on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), quickly approaches.
In this episode, we focus not on the raging political battle that surrounds the majestic bird, rather, the beauty of life in the ecosystem surrounding the leks, or “sacred mating grounds” as they have come to be known.
While waiting silently and stilly near a lek in an undisclosed location in Idaho before the birds strutted in for the early morning display, the EnviroNews Nature and Wildlife Division was able to capture an antelope buck doing quite a strut himself through and around the “ritual mating” party. Surprisingly, the exceptionally skittish birds seemed quite comfortable with the antelope and were not spooked at all as he circled the lek on all sides, marking his turf at several key junctures.
Stay tuned for a full-feature documentary spanning multiple corners of the sage grouse saga, coming later this year on the EnviroNews Documentary Showcase. Thank you for watching!