Nov 3, 2009 3:00 PM by Associated Press

Barbed wire can be deadly to sage grouse

A new report says barbed-wire fence can be deadly to sage grouse, a chicken-like bird found in 11 Western states that's being considered for endangered species protection.

A recent Wyoming Game and Fish Department study found evidence of 146 cases of sage grouse flying into a nearly five-mile section of barbed wire fence over a seven-month period. Study leader Tom Christiansen says researchers often found dead sage grouse near grouse feathers on barbed wire.

He says it's likely other grouse struck the same fence and died elsewhere. The department is experimenting with ways to make barbed wire fences more visible to sage grouse. Sage grouse are found in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, South Dakota and Wyoming, as well as in Canada.


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