Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Biologists in southern Utah have launched a study of greater sage grouse in areas that might some day be home to wind farms.

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management and the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources hope to put radio collars on 30 sage grouse and track their movements over the next two years or so.

The area has a high potential for wind energy development, which some in the West fear could affect sage grouse populations.

BLM officials say the southern Utah study will give them a better idea of where sage grouse live, nest and breed so they can better respond to any future applications for wind development.

The Interior Department announced last month that federal protections for the chicken-sized bird are warranted but precluded because other species are considered in greater danger.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.

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