Wildlife Science

Wild Utah Project undertakes fieldwork and monitoring efforts, and conducts and publishes original peer-reviewed research studies to fill known data gaps and support informed agency management decisions affecting wildlife and associated habitat in Utah.  We also engage in landscape-level planning processes in Utah to ensure that wildlife corridors, migration routes, and habitat connections are identified, maintained, and improved where needed. We strive to provide novel studies, existing literature, and GIS support to aid management and planning processes for wildlife and their associated habitats habitats (see most current examples below: 1] bighorn sheep/alpine plant communities, 2] beaver/riparian corridors, 3] boreal toads/alpine aquatic habitats, 4] wide-ranging predators/indicators of connected landscapes and functioning wildlife corridors, 5] sage-grouse/sagebrush-steppe ecosystems, and 6] Wasatch mammals/conifer forests).

 

  Photo: Howie Garber

Photo: Howie Garber

We are currently working with US Forest Service (USFS) as we identify impacts of non-native mountain goats on rare alpine plant communities in Utah, and study whether bighorn sheep are the better option for introductions into 'vacant' alpine habitats.

 
  Photo credit: Howie Garber

Photo credit: Howie Garber

We have a long history of working with fellow conservation organizations in Utah and the Intermountain West to advocate for science based management of wide-ranging predators, such as lynx, wolves, black bear, cougar and coyotes.

  Photo credit: UDWR

Photo credit: UDWR

In collaborations with Utah State University and Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (UDWR) we are working to assess degraded stream/riparian areas in Utah, and ascertain which locations have the potential to benefit from beaver recolonization or reintroductions.

 
  Photo credit: UDWR

Photo credit: UDWR

Over the past several years, we have conducted sage-grouse habitat suitability studies, and various habitat monitoring efforts to inform wildlife and land-use management decisions for sagebrush systems throughout Utah, as well as our neighboring states. 

  Photo credit: UDWR

Photo credit: UDWR

Through partnerships with Utah Geologic Survey (UGS), UDWR, USFS, and Hogle Zoo we are conducting aquatic habitat assessments and boreal toad surveys in the Central Wasatch Mountains to both inform aquatic habitat management and identify possible toad reintroduction sites.

 
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We have a brand new study we are just getting underway with our partners at the University of Utah, which launched in the spring 2018.  Lear more about our cutting edge trail camera study in the Central Wasatch, and how the results will be used for wildlife and habitat conservation and management!