JACKSON, Wyo. (AP) — The sage grouse population in northwest Wyoming's Jackson Hole region has declined significantly this year.

But Game and Fish Sage Grouse Program Coordinator Tom Christiansen says the declines are within the normal range of variability for sage grouse in the region.

The Jackson Hole News & Guide reports that park officials and volunteer members of the Upper Snake River Basin Sage Grouse Working Group monitored nine leks this spring, including seven in Grand Teton National Park.

At Grand Teton breeding leks, the highest number of males observed on any given day was 81. That is down from 136 last year.

The biggest decline in male sage grouse was at the area's largest lek where this year's highest count was 28 male birds, compared with 76 last year.

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Information from: Jackson Hole (Wyo.) News And Guide, http://www.jhnewsandguide.com