In the face of significant population growth in Utah’s Central Wasatch Mountain Range, precious wildlife habitat along suburban foothills is being put at risk. The urban population in the Wasatch is predicted to expand 40% through the next 25 years. The Wasatch is not only home to over a half million residents, it is also one of the most highly recreated public lands in the United States.
The Central Wasatch Commission, a coalition of over 200 public land stakeholders, found there is a lack of baseline data about local wildlife and habitat. Our Wasatch Wildlife Watch is designed to understand the current condition of the Wasatch’s wildlife populations, habitats, and responses to human development in areas where prime wildlife habitat meets growing urban development. This information is crucial for future development planning that will benefit both residents and wildlife.
To address this, the Wasatch Wildlife Watch was developed in partnership with the University of Utah’s Biodiversity and Conservation Ecology Lab, Salt Lake City Parks and Public Lands, and Natural History Museum of Utah. Teams of trained volunteer community scientists and experts alike deploy trail cameras throughout the Wasatch that are monitored regularly from May until late August of each year.
Wasatch Wildlife Watch kicked off in 2018 and is our most successful community science project to date! Last year over 100 dedicated volunteers collected and analyzed 100,000’s of trail camera images to help understand the Wasatch’s wildlife populations and movement corridors. Study sites are located along the Jordan River, to City Creek, and through the Cottonwood Canyons.
Training Required? Yes, Saturday April 13
9 AM to 12 PM (lunch provided)
1 to 4 PM (outdoor training session and distribution of camera equipment)
Natural History Museum of Utah, 301 Wakara Way, Salt Lake City, UT 84108
Commitment Level: This is a high dedication level project as nine surveys are required during specific windows. Volunteers may “share” the survey responsibilities with friends and family, but they are required to attend the training, as well.
Field Season: April - August
Requirements: Field work, hiking, vehicle, ability to be trained on use of trail camera operations