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Utah DWR video

Beavers in Utah

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So you want to be a wildlife biologist?

So you want to be a wildlife biologist?

Many DWR biologists (including me!) started off as university students working on projects funded by the DWR, and that led them to a career with the agency. It’s a great path if you are truly serious about becoming a professional biologist.


National Bison Day means more in Utah

National Bison Day means more in Utah

It was a cool November morning, and the mountain peaks pierced the low-hanging clouds, like pillars supporting a gray ceiling over the floor of the San Rafael Desert. The bison were there, and we approached in quiet excitement. We watched and listened as five bulls left their pinyon juniper loft and crashed their way through a pocket of quaking aspens below.


Practiced in the art of deception

Practiced in the art of deception

A wide variety of wildlife species, as well as humans, are drawn to the rich and dynamic wildlife habitats created by beavers. Unfortunately, people who earn their living by applying water to the land, or maintaining roads around beaver habitat, are not as likely to consider beavers their friends.


Bear cubs head back to the wild

Bear cubs head back to the wild

The shy cubs responded by hugging the walls and cautiously moving around. The bold cubs began exploring immediately with little signs of fear.


Roping deer from ponds: just another day at work

Roping deer from ponds: just another day at work

At this point, I decided to rope the deer in an attempt to drag it out of the water. Of course the deer kicked and I was unable to row and hold the deer, but I had quick teammates that came to help in a steep spot.


Ptarmigan genetics in the Uintas and beyond

Ptarmigan genetics in the Uintas and beyond

Although ptarmigan were not confirmed to be present in the Uintas prior to the 1976 release, additional reports of ptarmigan in the Uintas from before they were released has called into question whether or not Utah’s ptarmigan population is entirely introduced.


Connections between habitats

Connections between habitats

We put together a web map that shows where some of these wildlife crossing structures are located within Utah.


Grabbing geese from airboats

Grabbing geese from airboats

Instead, I’ll simply say that the procedure is a lot of fun – a lot. Much like birdwatching in the wetlands, you can detect a capture operation by attentive observation. A long train of DWR trucks with trailers in tow can be spotted slowly driving along dikes in the wetlands.


Nest boxes boost duck population

Nest boxes boost duck population

Artificial nesting boxes have been used by people all across the county to provide nesting habitat for wood ducks. Nesting boxes have also proven to be very successful in Utah.


The low-speed stampede

The low-speed stampede

Holders are charged with the toughest part. They are tasked with securing the birds so the banders can install a leg band on the left leg and patagial markers on each wing. Not as easy as it sounds, when you consider that they have to hold the 15-pound bird securely. They also have to hold the pelican’s bill so it can’t bite anyone.


Water for wildlife

Water for wildlife

The use of guzzlers provides water to all types of wildlife in areas where water sources are few and far between. One of the great benefits of this is the ability to attract animals to areas with abundant forage and little natural water…


Building nurseries for big-eared bats

Building nurseries for big-eared bats

The crew put up screen troughs on the tree trunks below the bark, which they refer to as poop-catchers.