Evaluating Gunnison Sage-grouse response to climate resilient wetland restoration

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Julia Nave worked in collaboration with the Gunnison Climate Working Group for her Master of Environmental Management project at Western State Colorado University. The Working Group is a localized climate adaptation movement implementing planned strategic treatments on the land in order to benefit the Gunnison Sage-grouse (Centrocercus minimus) and other wildlife under multiple climate scenarios. The group has worked collaboratively to install one-rock dams and other hand-built treatments that help reduce erosion and retain water in ephemeral streams in the sagebrush steppe environment while providing brood-rearing habitat for Gunnison Sage-grouse.  The success of these treatments has yet to be evaluated so Julia’s work on the project includes performing descriptive analysis utilizing a robust camera trapping dataset. As a result of the initial analysis, recommendations for future treatments and other monitoring efforts can be determined.
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Julia checks thousands of camera trap photos for various wildlife species.
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The Gunnison Sage-grouse chicks rely on insects for the first four months after they’ve hatched.
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The sage brush steppe is a unique and beautiful ecosystem.

The following are photos from the camera trapping study.

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Cow and calf Elk (Cervus canadensis) appear to be posing for their portrait.
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Female Gunnison sage-grouse (Centrocercus minimus). 
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Most of the cameras are set on private or public ranching lands so there are many cow pictures.
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An American badger (Taxidea taxus) and a coyote (Canis latrans). The next photo in this series shows the badger being a bit aggressive!

 

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I feel very fortunate when I see the pronghorn (Antilocapra americana) on the western landscape.

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