Rural community members are taking action to preserve and protect the greater sage grouse, a native bird to the southwest area that's been endangered for a quarter century. 

Changing native prairie habitats, roads, fences or power lines, disease, altering natural hydrology, loss of sagebrush, climate change, and predators such as coyotes and hawks have all contributed to the decimated number of sage grouse.

Rebecca Smith, acting terrestrial ecologist at the Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment, is adamant about spreading awareness and encouraging people to be mindful.

"The greater sage grouse have been on our radar for quite some time," said Smith. "There's no one factor that's responsible for their decline in Canada, it's really a number of different factors contributing to their difficulties."

Stats Canada reported that between both Sask. and Alta., about 150 - 222 sage grouse existed as of 2020.

"They actually require sagebrush at different times during the year," Smith noted. "In the wintertime it's actually their only food source, and in the summertime when they're breeding, they use sagebrush for cover, for their nests, and protection from predators."

Although unlikely, if someone comes across a sage grouse, they're advised to keep a distance and report the sighting to the Saskatchewan Conservation Data Centre by emailing

"If someone were to come across a dead greater sage grouse or any other bird, they can submit those to the Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative lab at the University of Saskatchewan," said Smith. 

People can help prevent extinction by supporting wildlife-friendly management practices, restoring native sage grouse habitats, or contacting your local rangeland management specialist at the Ministry of Agriculture.