Important Bird Areas

Breteche Creek Ranch

Wyoming

Breteche Creek Ranch is a non-profit foundation established to teach individuals and families about the environment. It is based on the Polk Ranch, approximately 25 miles west of Cody, Wyoming, and 30 miles east of Yellowstone National Park. It begins with hay pastures and cottonwoods along the North Fork of the Shoshone River (5,500 feet) and ascends through arroyos and sagebrush plains to aspen groves at 6,500 feet. Limber pine and Douglas fir forests are found at the higher elevations. Birds found at the area are diverse due to the various habitats and great elevation range.

Ornithological Summary

The site holds nesting Golden Eagles and Northern Goshawks and possible nesting Peregrine Falcons. Bald Eagles forage among the river during winter. The area also supports a number of Northern Sage-grouse on a year round basis. The sage-grouse numbers indicate a possible lek site in the area although one has not been documented.

Conservation Issues

Serious threats of development and disturbance to birds or habitat and potential threats of the introduction of non-indigenous fauna/flora and predators.

Ownership

Breteche Creek Ranch is a non-profit foundation established to teach individuals and families about the environment. It is based on the Polk Ranch, approximately 25 miles west of Cody, Wyoming, and 30 miles east of Yellowstone National Park.

Habitat

The Breteche site is made up of many different habitats including alpine tundra, cliff/rock, aspen, lowland riparian, mixed conifer, open water, pinyon/juniper (5%), spruce/fir, wetlands, and shore/bank. However, the dominant habitat in the area is sagebrush shrubland (50%). The major land uses are recreation and tourism (education) associated with wildlife conservation, livestock grazing, and research.

Land Use

Breteche Creek Ranch is a non-profit foundation established to teach individuals and families about the environment. An elk/livestock forage utilization study was conducted in 1997-98 to examine the impacts of grazing ungulates on forage production on the area. Also, bird surveys using the point count method have been conducted from 1996 -2000.