Every year in late spring and summer, our field season crew traipses across mountains, prairies and deserts to survey birds under the Integrated Monitoring in Bird Conservation Regions (IMBCR) program. As this post from our of our field technicians attests, these rugged and remote landscapes don’t always make it easy!
The Greater Sage-Grouse represents a special part of our country’s sagebrush steppe ecosystem. Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory is testing the effectiveness of different types of fence markers to help these grouse avoid collisions with fences. Field crew leader Taylor Gorman and biologist Nick Van Lanen offer insights from the first season of this study before heading back into the field.
Grazing options can be limited in the high country, when snow lingers in high-elevation pastures and areas can get too waterlogged for cattle. To increase grazing options on a ranch in the Middle Park area of Colorado, Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory helped to implement a project that will deliver water to an area of the ranch not previously suitable for grazing, allowing the rancher to keep cattle off other areas of the ranch that provide key habitat for Greater Sage-Grouse.
Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory is testing the effectiveness of different types of fence markers to help Greater Sage-Grouse avoid collisions with fences. Field crew leader Taylor Gorman and biologist Nick Van Lanen write from frigid Sublette County, Wyoming, on the importance of markers for reducing grouse mortalities and report on progress of RMBO’s study thus far.
Encroachment of coniferous trees such as juniper can noticeably alter sagebrush ecosystems and, in turn, habitat quality for wildlife. Range Conservationist Brandon Elkins writes about a project to remove juniper trees in the Powder River Basin of Wyoming to benefit sage-grouse and other wildlife.
Some of Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory’s stewardship staff were in Pinedale, Wyoming, in late June to celebrate Sage Grouse Initiative successes with partners from national and state agencies, nonprofits and landowner organizations. Billed as “wildlife conservation through sustainable agriculture,” SGI is a model for voluntary private-lands conservation.