Alberta, Ottawa fund Calgary Zoo captive breeding program for greater sage grouse

This undated image shows a wild sage grouse. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, USFWS, Gary Kramer

CALGARY - The federal and Alberta governments have come to the rescue of the critically endangered greater safe grouse.

Both governments have committed $2.1 million each for a greater sage grouse captive breeding and rearing project to be conducted over the next decade.

The project will be run by the Calgary Zoo's Centre for Conservation on a ranch south of Calgary.

There were an estimated 93 to 138 adult birds in Canada in 2012.

The population has declined by 98 per cent since 1988 partly due to contact with humans and disease.

The federal government published an emergency order to protect the greater sage grouse across 1,700 square kilometres of Crown lands in Alberta and Saskatchewan.

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