Sooty Grouse Dendragapus fuliginosus


Justification of Red List Category
This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be stable, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is extremely large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.

Population justification
The global population is estimated to number 2,000,000 mature individuals (Partners in Flight 2020).

Trend justification
The species has been undergoing a moderate decline between 1970 and 2019 at an average rate of 1.1% per year (Partners in Flight 2020). Short-term trends however suggest that the decline has stopped and that the species has been stable over the past three generations (11.1 years) (Meehan et al. 2018; Pardieck et al. 2018). Therefore, the population is here assessed as stable.

Distribution and population

This species has a large range, which spreads from northern Canada to California across the Pacific states of the United States and Canada.


This species occurs in a variety of pine and fir forest habitats from sea level to 3,600 m close to the tree line. Its populations apparently fluctuate more markedly than inland populations of Dusky Grouse D. fuliginosus owing to more regular disturbance of its habitat providing an open canopy which leads to a boom in numbers that gradually declines once the canopy grows anew.


Text account compilers
Hermes, C.

Bird, J., Butchart, S. & Westrip, J.R.S.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Species factsheet: Dendragapus fuliginosus. Downloaded from on 16/08/2022. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2022) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 16/08/2022.