Wild About Utah

Wild About Utah is a weekly nature series produced by Utah Public Radio in cooperation with Stokes Nature Center, Bridgerland Audubon Society, Quinney College of Natural Resources, Utah State University and Utah Master Naturalist Program - USU Extension.

Utah is a state endowed with many natural wonders from red rock formations to salt flats. And from desert wetlands to columns of mountains forming the basin and range region. When we look closer, nature is everywhere including just outside our door.

Hear the wonders of Utah: plants, animals, geologic formations; ancient, present; terrestrial, avian and aquatic. Brought to you by the Moab Area Travel Council

Ways to Connect

Short-Eared Owl Tracking on Wild About Utah

Jun 22, 2016
fws.gov

My name is Neil Paprocki. I’m the conservation biologist with HawkWatch International, which is a raptor conservation and education non-profit based in Salt Lake City, Utah.

My name’s Evan Buechley. I’m a PhD candidate at the University of Utah.

Join A BioBlitz This Year on Wild About Utah

Jun 22, 2016
nps.gov

“So what is a BioBlitz anyway”, by far the most common question we get from the public who visit our parks and other venues offering the event.

A BioBlitz is an event that focuses on finding and identifying as many species as possible in a specific area over a short period of time. 

Permaculture on Wild About Utah

May 27, 2016
collegeparkmd.gov

  Have you ever looked at a healthy forest and wondered “how do those trees, shrubs, and smaller plants thrive without fertilizer inputs, pest control, consistent watering, tilling, thinning, and being overtaken by unwanted species?” Many in Utah, in striving for alternative ways to grow food and landscapes in general, are turning away from conventional practices and experimenting in a relatively new design process called “permaculture.”

Sandhill Crane Days on Wild About Utah

May 13, 2016
fws.gov

 

  George Archibald, who danced daily with a captive female whooping crane named Tex, provided a remarkable example of the biological significance of dancing cranes. George even slept beside Tex, huddled in a down sleeping bag through cold Wisconsin nights, to stimulate her egg laying activity. With the help of some sperm from a donor male crane, this technique proved successful, and George eventually became the proud godfather of a baby Whooper, which he appropriately named “Gee-whiz!”

The Cutthroat Trout on Wild About Utah

May 6, 2016
www.blm.gov

  Utah streams offer excellent year-round fishing opportunities for every level of angler. According to the Department of Natural Resources, Utah’s waters are home to approximately 80 different species of fish, but it is the trout fishing that is the biggest attraction for fishermen. Of the trout species swimming in our rivers and lakes, the cutthroat trout is a local favorite and the only trout native to the state.

Kit Foxes: Sentinels of Utah’s Desert Nights

Apr 27, 2016
fws.gov

 

One of the first things observers notice about the kit fox is its tiny size. Weighing in at a mere four pounds or so, Vulpes macrotis is among the smallest canids on the planet.

Often mistaken for swift foxes, kit foxes are a distinct species that sport larger ears and a leaner, more angular appearance. The small mammal has a long, black-tipped bushy tail and a yellowish-gray coat tinged with rusty orange.

Ancient Native Plant Relationships

Apr 25, 2016
plants.usda.gov

  Stretching from the snowy peaks of the Wellsville Mountains, south to the sandstone shadows of Beaver Dam Wash, an ancient, native relationship provided unity to the diverse landscape. It is admired in the haunting tune of a wind pipe, it comports like a wool blanket; and its tapestry goes beyond the cliff art at Potash, and preceded John Wesley Powell and Brigham Young.

 


gslcouncil.utah.gov

  There is a giant among us with a profound influence on our past, present, and future. My first encounter with this giant was both buoyant and delightful as I floated in the brine on a lovely summer day. But I was oblivious to the Great Salt Lake’s immense value as an environmental, cultural, and economic resource.

 


Dandelion - Friend or Foe?

Apr 25, 2016
nlm.nih.gov

  Popping up here and there seemingly as soon as you turn away, dandelion persists and as it grows bigger, it’s large taproot becomes many a gardener’s foe. With a slight change in perspective, however, gardeners could expand their yield and embrace the ever persistent pioneer plant: dandelion.

  

Irruptive Birds Migrate South

Apr 25, 2016
wildutah.gov

  Every winter, many of Utah’s breeding birds migrate south to avoid the cold. After the warblers, tanagers, and orioles leave each fall, we share the snowy winter with hardier residents, such as chickadees, nuthatches, and juncos. But even hardier birds breed in the far north and venture south to Utah only during the most severe winters.


fws.gov

  Tucked into isolated pockets of the Uintah Basin’s arid wildlands is the best little plant you’ve never heard of. Known to exist only in Duchesne and Uintah Counties, Shrubby-reed Mustard seems to occupy only the semi-barren “islands” of white shale in areas of the Green River Formation’s Evacuation Creek region. The endangered plant features thick, almost succulent, blue-green leaves and small yellow flowers.

 


maricopa-az.gov

  Utah is arguably blessed with the most stunning landscapes on the planet. Many have been preserved for posterity in our National Parks & Monuments. This is the BIG YEAR- the 100 year anniversary of the National Park Service! I’ve sampled and worked in many of them- from Alaska to Florida, from S. California to New England. As many would suggest- our National Parks are one of America’s greatest achievements which has gone global, now found on all continents except Antarctica (or am I missing one!).

 


Three-leaf Sumac

Apr 25, 2016
nps.gov

  Many think of the desert as a hot, dry, barren, and unforgiving place. However, Utah’s deserts are chock full of interesting and diverse plants and animals! One such plant, which grows throughout much of Utah, is rhus trilobata or three-leaf sumac.

 


The Pygmy Rabbit: A ‘Cryptic’ Resident of the Sagebrush

Apr 25, 2016
idfg.idaho.gov

  Within the Intermountain West’s vast sagebrush ocean lives a tiny, furry creature that spends the majority of its time in or near a burrow of its own making. The Pygmy Rabbit, North America’s smallest member of the rabbit family, weighs about a pound and is about the size of a grapefruit.

 


Tiger Salamanders Ambystoma tigrinum

Apr 25, 2016
mdc.mo.gov

 

   Tiger Salamanders, named for their bold black-and-orange stripes, are Utah’s only salamander. Secretive inhabitants of our forests, streams, and lakes, these amphibians are rarely seen. Tiger Salamanders spend most of their year underground, in moist burrows beneath logs and among tree roots. They come to the surface just once a year, emerging at night in the early spring to trek across the snow to newly-thawed wetlands.

 


Conservation: North and South

Apr 25, 2016
wildlife.utah.gov

  I spent 2 gloriously warm days in Dixie where I attended the Winter Bird Festival, a grand event by any measure! I also had the good fortune of discovering “Citizens for Dixie’s Future” (henceforth CDF) which has taken on the onerous task of brokering piece between a surging population and the regions limited natural resources. Water topped the list, especially the Lake Powell Pipeline proposal. So I did a bit of reading from CDF’s well stocked library.


The American Robin

Apr 25, 2016
wildlife.ohiodnr.gov

  The American robin with its abundance, red breast, and loud song is one of the most recognizable backyard birds in North America. For many of us the robin – orTurdus migratorius – is also thought of as a herald of spring. So why is it that we still occasionally see them in our wintry Utah backyards?

 


Public Lands – Good or Bad?

Apr 25, 2016

  This morning I spent some time skiing up Smithfield Canyon in the Uintah Wasatch Cache National Forest. Growing up in Michigan where public land was hard to come by, I have come to enjoy our “commons” where I’m not trespassing on posted private land, or required to pay a fee before entering.

 


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