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, unfortunately it has been neglected for many years. As an urban waterway, the Jordan River is often plagued by litter or redirected 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, entire ecosystems will suffer greatly.
Remote cameras are used around the world for wildlife research. They are non-invasive, providing researchers with priceless information about animals in their natural habitats. Cameras help us to better understand wildlife behavior and allow us to observe nature from a distance.
Utah’s Hogle Zoo utilizes wildlife cameras to provide zoo guests and community members with an opportunity to learn about the wildlife that surrounds them. Through modern technology, individuals in an urban setting can connect with the wilderness that exists in their backyards.
Wasatch Wildlife Watch
Wasatch Wildlife Watch is a community science program that is run by the University of Utah’s Biodiversity and Conservation Ecology Lab. The program is composed of dedicated community scientists who maintain wildlife cameras, sort photos, and upload images to a web-based community platform. Wasatch Wildlife Watch has been operating for four years, surveying areas in all seven surrounding canyons of the Salt Lake Valley. The goal of the organization is to increase the information that we have about local wildlife and their habitats. This information can then be used later in urban planning.
Through partnering with Utah’s Hogle Zoo, Wasatch Wildlife Watch was able to expand their study area into the Salt Lake Valley. Our support provided the program with much-needed equipment and a network of volunteers, enabling the study to continue year-round.
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 has also contributed to other projects and research studies through Snapshot USA and the Urban Wildlife Information Network.
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]
Join Utah’s Hogle Zoo and The Jordan River Commission at one ofour many Jordan River conservation events. Each month, we host several river restoration activities along different sections of the Jordan River. There, we perform a variety of conservation and restoration projects like tree planting, water trail maintenance, and the removal of invasive weeds. These are family-friendly events for people of all ages!