Other Monitoring

Biological surveys to monitor birds, vegetation and more
Wildlife Biologist and volunteers performing Bird Survey
Migratory birds 
The refuge conducts a waterbird and raptor survey 1-2 times per month depending on time of year. The survey is conducted more frequently during peak migration periods in the spring and fall. This count is done generally by the refuge biologist and consists of driving refuge dikes and counting ducks, geese, swans and other waterbirds (e.g., grebes, herons, egrets, ibises, pelicans, and cormorants), shorebirds, raptors (eagles, hawks, falcons, vultures, and owls), and shrikes. Results of the survey are published on this website on our Bird Sightings page.
A general bird survey is conducted twice per month and consists of counting non-waterbird species including raptors, upland game birds, and songbirds. This survey is conducted primarily by volunteers. Results are also available on this website.
Refuge staff also conduct 2 Breeding Bird Survey routes as part of the National Breeding Bird Survey program administered by the US Geological survey. One route covers the Refuge while the other is conducted in the Promontory Mountains area west of the Refuge. These surveys are done once during the spring breeding season following the national protocol. Each survey route is 24.5 miles long with stops at 0.5-mile intervals. At each stop, a 3-minute point count is conducted. During the count, every bird seen within a 0.25-mile radius or heard is recorded. Surveys start one-half hour before local sunrise and take about 5 hours to complete. For more information, see the Breeding Bird Survey Program website.
The Refuge also participates in the Audubon Society's annual Christmas Bird Count. Refuge partners, Wasatch Audubon Society, coordinate this citizen science effort, the longest running citizen science survey in the country, to count and learn about local and migratory bird species in the winter.  You can learn more from Wasatch Audubon or on Audubon's Christmas Bird Count website.
Upland Habitat 
Cattle grazing is used as a tool on parts of the refuge for grassland management. Refuge staff annually conducts post-grazing plant monitoring at several permanent locations to assess the plant composition as it relates to grazing. Vegetation surveys are also completed at each of the breeding bird points on the Refuge's grasslands to monitor habitat as it relates to bird species recorded (or not recorded) on the bird surveys.



Facts About Other Monitoring

You can't know what condition you would like to change a habitat to (or even if you should) unless you have a good understanding of what condition (diversity of species, vegetation, etc.) the habitat is already in.