Wyoming grouse breeding bill passed by Senate

Sage Grouse
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Cheyenne, Wyo. - A senator's skepticism about raising sage grouse in captivity won't keep Wyoming from trying under a bill that cleared the state Senate.

The Senate voted 24-6 Monday to establish a sage grouse captive-breeding program. The bill would allow licensed breeders to collect up to 250 eggs from the wild each year to try to raise in captivity.

It now goes back to the House for consideration of Senate changes.

Sen. Cale Case, of Lander, says captive-breeding sage grouse has a "lousy" success rate and taking eggs from the wild hurts wild bird populations.

Proponents say now is a good time to try raising sage grouse, before the birds go into decline.

Wyoming is a stronghold for the greater sage grouse but their numbers have declined sharply elsewhere.