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. More about Wild About Utah can be found here.

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

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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