FY24 Utah Wildlife Migration Initiative
Project ID: 6668
Status: Current
Fiscal Year: 2024
Submitted By: N/A
Project Manager: Makeda Hanson
PM Agency: Utah Division of Wildlife Resources
PM Office: Southeastern Region
Lead: Utah Division of Wildlife Resources
WRI Region: Statewide
In 2017, the DWR began a statewide initiative to document, preserve, and enhance movement pathways and migrations corridors for fish and wildlife throughout Utah. The Utah Migration Initiative is building partnerships, creating compelling outreach, and using state-of-the-art tracking and data management technologies to accomplish these goals.
The project is being conducted in various locations throughout the state.
Project Need
Need For Project:
DWR needs to better understand movements and migration routes of big game and other species in Utah. The project is starting with an emphasis on big game, and has expanded to include sandhill cranes, wild turkey, waterfowl, cougars, bear, and other species.
The objectives of the initiative are to radio-collar animals to determine survival rates, home ranges, habitat use, body condition, and migration routes. This information will serve as a foundation for future habitat restoration projects, working with UDOT and land management agencies to protect migration routes, and communicate with the public on the movements of wildlife in Utah. The following projects are being considered for this funding cycle: Wasatch Unit - Mule Deer The Heber Valley in the Wasatch Unit is experiencing significant growth in recent years. Little is known about mule deer using the Heber Valley and what areas are most important for winter range. This project will allow us to identify mule deer migration corridors in this area and provide us with data that can potentially help reduce impacts of development on mule deer. Pahvant and Beaver Unit - Mule Deer This proposal is for a helicopter capture project to deploy GPS collars on mule deer on the Fillmore, Pahvant and Beaver units. It is believed that there is significant emigration and immigration occurring on multiple areas of the unit, especially the southern end of the unit near I-70. Interstate 70 is a fairly permeable barrier due to multiple large crossing structures, but we currently don't have any GPS data informing us about movement across that barrier. This project will allow us to map migration corridors for mule deer on the Pahvant range, document migrations between the Pahvant and Beaver unit, and understand how mule deer use the Baker Canyon and I-70 crossings. Anthro Unit - Mule Deer, Pronghorn The West Tavaputs has sparse collar data for project planning. The proposed Uintah Basin Railway will have impacts on multiple wildlife species, if it occurs. This project will give us a working knowledge of migration corridors prior to the implementation of the railway, and will help us to evaluate impacts on wildlife populations in the area. In addition, documenting migration around Highway 40 will help us to prioritize wildlife crossing installations in the future and map migration corridors. Northeastern, Northern, Southern and Central Region - Elk This project is in the second year of assessing elk movements across multiple units and regions. Significant immigration/emigration events are occurring each year, but little is known about what units elk are coming from or going to each year. This project will help us better identify where and when elk are moving between units, and how hunting pressure is influencing elk movements. Eagle Mountain - Deer This project will look at deer movements around the city of Eagle Mountain to better understand deer use in the area. It will also help us understand how animals are responding to fencing and infrared alert system that was recently installed. Migration Initiative Program Costs This budget supports the Migration Initiative technician position, which provides critical work for Initiative, include cleaning and entering collar data in databases, automating processes, mapmaking, data analysis, and completing other important requests. It also supports data fees and other costs that occur throughout the year. Waterfowl Movements The Great Salt Lake marshes are critical to migrating waterfowl in the interior portion of the Pacific Flyway. However, little is known about the connections between Great Salt Lake, Utah Lake, Fish Springs, and other wetlands in the state. Significant investments have been made in MOTUS and other technologies that can now help us understand the connectivity that exists between these Utah's wetlands, and the importance of Utah wetlands to waterfowl in the Pacific Flyway. This project will involve catching and marking waterfowl during the summer and winter months to better understand waterfowl movements in-state and across the Pacific Flyway.
Project Location/Timing Justification (Why Here? Why Now?):
Relation To Management Plan:
The mule deer management plan calls for better information on migration routes. The elk management plan calls for more information about elk movements to help meeting population objectives and reduce elk-vehicle collisions. Other management plans request better information on movements and habitat use of big game animals. Additionally, the Utah Action Plan for Secretarial Order 3362 calls for more information about movements of big game animals in five priority areas of Utah (Paunsaugunt Unit, Zion Unit, Eagle Mountain Area, I-80/84 Corridor, and US-6 corridor).
Fire / Fuels:
Water Quality/Quantity:
Wildlife are being captured throughout the state at different times of the year. Each animal is fitted with an unique tracking device that collects data at various intervals. The data is being stored in Wildlife Tracker for viewing and to be used for management actions.
DWR employees and partners will conduct monitoring of animals.
We are building partnerships with everyone that has an interest in wildlife in Utah. We are meeting stakeholders to introduce them to the Initiative and ask for the support. To date we have established partnerships 20+ entities to complete wildlife movement projects.
Future Management:
Our hope is that this information improves management and shapes the way we view wildlife in Utah. We want to show how animals are using the landscape and protect critical habitat that animals use.
Sustainable Uses of Natural Resources:
Budget WRI/DWR Other Budget Total In-Kind Grand Total
$807,000.00 $0.00 $807,000.00 $0.00 $807,000.00
Item Description WRI Other In-Kind Year
Other Northeastern, Northern, Southern and Central Region – Elk $378,000.00 $0.00 $0.00 2024
Other Eagle Mountain Deer Capture $42,000.00 $0.00 $0.00 2024
Other Pahvant and Beaver Units - Mule Deer $96,000.00 $0.00 $0.00 2024
Other Wasatch Unit - Mule Deer $96,000.00 $0.00 $0.00 2024
Other Anthro Unit – Mule Deer, Pronghorn $95,000.00 $0.00 $0.00 2024
Other Migration Initiative Program Costs $80,000.00 $0.00 $0.00 2024
Other Waterfowl Movements $20,000.00 $0.00 $0.00 2024
Funding WRI/DWR Other Funding Total In-Kind Grand Total
$665,000.00 $0.00 $665,000.00 $0.00 $665,000.00
Source Phase Description Amount Other In-Kind Year
Kings Camo T250 $5,000.00 $0.00 $0.00 2024
Utah County CWMA $5,000.00 $0.00 $0.00 2024
Wasatch Wigeons Association T249 $5,000.00 $0.00 $0.00 2024
Mule Deer Foundation (MDF) S023 $70,000.00 $0.00 $0.00 2024
Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF) S025 $30,000.00 $0.00 $0.00 2024
Safari Club International (SCI) S026 $43,000.00 $0.00 $0.00 2024
Sportsman for Fish & Wildlife (SFW) S027 $61,750.00 $0.00 $0.00 2024
Utah Archery Association (UAA) S052 $2,000.00 $0.00 $0.00 2024
Wildlife Conservation Foundation (WCF) S056 $2,500.00 $0.00 $0.00 2024
Eagle Mountain City C102 $7,000.00 $0.00 $0.00 2024
Federal Aid (PR) P651 $423,750.00 $0.00 $0.00 2024
Utah Wild Sheep Foundation (WSF) S022 $10,000.00 $0.00 $0.00 2024
Species "N" Rank HIG/F Rank
Project Comments
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Map Features
Project Map