September 2, 2011- Source: The Globe & Mail
The greater sage-grouse is known for its elaborate courtship dance on the Prairies but as an endangered species, they might be wiped out in Alberta as soon as next year. Only 13 males were spotted this year making it a 98% decline since 1968. An emergency summit of conservationists and biologists is set for next week in Calgary in a desperate bid to save the bird. The Alberta government already took the unprecedented step last spring of importing the bird from Montana. Critics say the government isn’t doing enough to protect the birds from the booming energy industry which operates around their habitat. The federal cabinet could order the provinces to act, but that has never happened under the Species at Risk Act. It has been federally registered as an Endangered Species since 1998. In Alberta, industry must now apply through an enhanced approvals process to minimize development.