Great Basin Naturalist


During a survey of the vertebrates in the Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area, 46 mammal, 210 bird, 9 reptile, 5 amphibian, and 28 fish species were found. Habitat structure and moisture were two environmental variables associated with species numbers across this 1,820-ha area. Eight distinct habitats were evaluated. In coniferous forests, 27% of the birds and 54% of the mammals were observed. Sagebrush/grasslands and upland shrublands were very arid and had relatively few vertebrates. Five introduced game birds occurred in sagebrush habitat. Riparian and wetland habitats had the largest number of unique vertebrates, 38 and 77 respectively. The establishment of Bighorn Lake in 1968 influenced the fisheries in streams and rivers as 10 introduced fish species are now there.