The Nature Conservancy's Cool Green Science blog. Post by Holly Copeland Scientists studying Greater sage grouse have recognized for years that these birds require large unfragmented landscapes to survive. Many have also argued that Greater sage grouse are an “umbrella” species – if you protect them, you can also protect many other kinds of wildlife…such as mule deer. But is that claim really true, at least for mule deer? That’s the focus of a new study in Ecosphere that I co-authored with other scientists and mule deer experts.