What's It Worth To Save The Sage Grouse?
Giving sage grouse endangered status would also protect their habitat from development, but that could also get expensive.By Evan Thomas | September 16, 2015
The greater sage-grouse is disappearing, and conservation officials hope it doesn't come down to listing the species as endangered because this little bird could get expensive. (Video via U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)
A hundred years ago, there were 16 million sage grouse running around the western U.S. and parts of Canada. Now, the peculiar-looking ground bird — that sounds a bit like a coffee percolator — numbers in the hundreds of thousands. (Video via the Bureau of Land Management)
But a study funded by oil exploration trade group Western Energy Alliance suggests listing the sage grouse as endangered — which would protect its habitat from development and other land uses — would cause an annual loss of $5.6 billion in U.S. gross domestic product. Coal, natural gas, crude oil and beef industries could all be hit without use of that land. (Video via Cornell Lab of Ornithology)