Two Sheridan Area Habitats Recognized by Audubon
Photo courtesy of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department.
Audubon Rockies has named the Amsden and Kerns Wildlife Habitat Management Areas (WHMA) as Wyoming’s newest Important Bird Areas, recognizing their importance to bird habitats.
The designation process, led by the Bighorn Chapter of the Audubon Society and Sheridan Regional Game and Fish Department personnel, involves documenting the importance of the area providing imperative nesting, brood rearing, and foraging areas for native birds.
“The other significance of these lands is their location along the Bighorn Mountain foothills, a region that is most often in private ownership,” said Dr. Jackie Canterbury, president of the Bighorn Audubon Chapter. “All these elements provide a unique opportunity to protect the birds of our region, particularly grassland and shrubland birds, which are both experiencing dramatic declines.”
Important groundwork for the designation was completed in the early 80s by long-time Audubon member Jean Daly, who documented over 80 species of birds.
“While these areas were originally purchased for and are still managed first and foremost for elk winter range, dozens of other wildlife species benefit from the management and conservation of these areas,” said WGFD Public Information Specialist Christina Schmidt. “As a region, we were interested in pursuing IBA designations for these units to show their value not only for elk and other big game species, but a variety of wildlife and wildlife enthusiasts such as bird watchers.”
Soda Lake, South Park, and Yellowtail WHMAs have also been designated Important Bird Areas.