Deseret Land and Livestock Ranch qualified as an IBA because of the valuable and diverse habitats on the Ranch and the numerous bird species that use the area. It qualifies as a Global IBA based on use by Greater Sage-Grouse and Long-billed Curlew. Deseret Land and Livestock IBA consists of 220,000 acres (89,000 ha) and is located in Rich County. Elevation of the ranch varies from 6,200 to 8,700 feet. The large size, the topographic and vegetative diversity, the water resources (both natural and man-made) and the good range condition all combine to produce an exceptional abundance and diversity of bird life. This working cattle ranch is financially self sufficient due to the holistic approach to blend economics and ecology.

Ownership: Deseret Land and Livestock Ranch is private land, owned by Farm Management Company of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Over 15,000 acres, mostly within the boundaries of Deseret Land and Livestock Ranch are public lands under BLM designation. Deseret Land and Livestock Ranch manages these BLM properties with what is known as the Deseret-BLM Grazing Allotment and Management Plan.

Ornithological Summary

The diverse habitats contribute to the bird diversity with over 260 bird species being found on Deseret Land and Livestock property. Deseret Land and Livestock qualified as an IBA based on bird species on the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources sensitive species list that use the area. This includes wintering of 20-30 individual Bald Eagles, at least 3 breeding pairs of Ferruginous Hawk, 30 breeding pairs of Burrowing Owl, 10 breeding pairs of Short-eared Owl, 20 breeding pairs of Long-billed Curlew, 10 breeding pairs of Grasshopper Sparrow, more than five breeding pairs of Bobolink, 30-40 American White Pelicans in the summer, and year-round habitat for over 2,000 Greater Sage-grouse.

Also, the site sustains habitat for 10 Partner?s in Flight Priority species including 50 breeding pairs American Avocet, over 25 breeding pairs of Virginia?s Warbler, more than 25 breeding pairs of Black-necked Stilt, more than 50 breeding pairs of Broad-tailed Hummingbird, and over 6 breeding pairs of Sage Sparrow. Information for the State Sensitive species (Long-billed Curlew, Ferruginous Hawk, Greater Sage-Grouse, Grasshopper Sparrow and American White Pelican) is provided in the paragraph above.

The site also qualified as an IBA based on Avian congregations of waterfowl with over 2,000 breeding waterfowl of numerous species including Green-winged Teal, Mallard, Northern Pintail, Cinnamon Teal, Gadwall, American Wigeon, and Canada Goose. Congregations of wading birds (including Black-crowned Night Heron, American Bittern, Sandhill Crane, White-faced Ibis and Great Blue Heron), of gulls and terns (including 110 pair of California Gull, probably more than 50 breeding pair of Franklin Gull, and over 25 pairs of Forster?s, Least, Black and/or Caspian Terns), and of shorebirds (including breeding populations of Killdeer, Common Snipe, Spotted Sandpiper, Wilson?s Phalarope, and Willet) add to the qualifications for IBA status. The area also has breeding populations of numerous raptors.

The Deseret Land and Livestock Ranch is recognized as a Global IBA. This is based on use of the area by Greater Sage-Grouse as well as Long-billed Curlew. These two species are considered ?A1? Threatened Species. The world population of Greater Sage-Grouse is estimated at 150,000. To meet global criteria for this species a site needs to regularly support 1% of the population or have 40 breeding pairs. This site easily meets the criteria with over 2,000 Greater Sage-Grouse and an estimated 600 males on the ranch with good breeding success. The world population of Long-billed Curlew is estimated at 20,000. To meet global criteria the site needs to regularly support 1% of the population or have 10 breeding pairs. The site meets the criteria because it has an estimated regularly occurring 20 breeding pair of Long-billed Curlews.

Stay abreast of Audubon

Our email newsletter shares the latest programs and initiatives.