Provides habitat for fish, deer, beaver, fox, and more.
Why it Needs our Help
The Jordan River connects Utah Lake to the Great Salt Lake wetlands, carving a path through the Salt Lake Valley. Though the river is loved by the local community, it has been neglected due to human development. Irrigation canals draw away much of the river’s necessary water, making it difficult for the waterway to flourish. If the Jordan River is not conserved, local ecosystems will suffer.
You can join Utah’s Hogle Zoo and The Jordan River Commission by joining us for our monthly outings and restoration events that include tree planting, water trail maintenance, and removal of invasive weeds. These are family friendly events and a great way to get outside and become more familiar with our unique and beautiful urban river.
How Can I Help?
VOLUNTEER WITH US!
You can help by sorting wildlife camera photos and identifying animals. Check out available shifts on Volgistics. If you have any questions, contact our Conservation Action Coordinator, Tori Bird at [email protected]
Wildlife cameras are an important tool being used around the world for wildlife research to collect information about wildlife in an area. They are a non-invasive way to get valuable information about wildlife in their natural habitat doing their natural behaviors. This information helps advance our understanding of wildlife and how they use spaces. Hogle Zoo saw wildlife cameras as an opportunity for zoo guests and community members to be engaged in meaningful and direct conservation action while learning about what is using our shared backyard and how. There is a well-known benefit of being in touch with nature and camera traps present a great way to connect people living in an urban setting with the wildness that still exists around them, even if they don’t see it in their day to day life.
This led us to partnering with Wasatch Wildlife Watch in March of 2020. Wasatch Wildlife Watch is a community science project run out the University of Utah’s Biodiversity and Conservation Ecology Lab since 2018 operating in all seven surrounding canyons and into the Salt Lake Valley. The project aims to fill a data gaps in baseline information about local wildlife and habitat. This information can be utilized in urban planning. Wasatch Wildlife Watch utilizes dedicated community scientists that maintain the cameras, sort the photos, and upload them to a web based community science platform for identification.
The original focus was on the 7 canyons. Which made a great study area due to varying levels of human use and being able to look at how animals respond to that variation. Through partnering with the Zoo we were able to expand their study area into more locations in the valley, offer financial support for equipment, tap into Zoo’s volunteer network, and expand the study period to cover whole year instead of just spring and summer.
We now have between 20-25 cameras along 22 miles of river at any time. These cameras are checked monthly and have collected hundreds of thousands of photos since they were installed. The data from these cameras have also been able to contribute to other projects and research studies through Snapshot USA and the Urban Wildlife Information Network.
If you are a Hogle Zoo Volunteer, you can join us in this project as a community scientist helping to sort photos and identify wildlife. You can find shifts on Volgistics. Contact Conservation Action Coordinator, Tori Bird, with any questions at [email protected].