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.
Julia checks thousands of camera trap photos for various wildlife species.
insects one rock dam
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.

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


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