The South Hills consist of a mountain range dominated by a long north-south ridge called Deadline Ridge. Several perennial streams flow off the South Hills, including Rock Creek, Shoshone creek, Trapper Creek, and Cottonwood Creek. Many creeks flow in deep canyons. Sagebrush-steppe yields to mountain shrub communities as one rises in elevation. Large patches of aspen, lodgepole pine, subalpine fir, juniper, and mountain mahogany exist in the area. This site is important for its high diversity of landbirds, presence of species of special concern in Idaho, and exceptional representative of natural habitat.

Ornithological Summary

This site contains an endemic species of crossbill: the South Hills Crossbill. The presence of this species is thought to be a result of the unusual absence of squirrels. Other species of interest in the South Hills include Greater Sage-Grouse, Northern Goshawk, Ferruginous Hawk, Sharp-tailed Grouse, Calliope Hummingbird, Rufous Hummingbird, Lewis? Woodpecker, Williamson?s Sapsucker, Gray Flycatcher, Plumbeous Vireo, Virginia?s Warbler, Brewer?s Sparrow, Sage Sparrow, and Green-tailed Towhee.

Conservation Issues

The primary problem is overgrazing by cattle. Allotment boundaries and grazing times are reportedly not enforced, which is causing considerable problems in the area. Prairie Falcon Audubon has been involved with constructing exclosures in riparian areas, and is trying to establish a volunteer grazing forage utilization monitoring class.

Habitat

The South Hills consist of a mountain range dominated by a long north-south ridge called Deadline Ridge. Several perennial streams flow off the South Hills, including Rock Creek, Shoshone creek, Trapper Creek, and Cottonwood Creek. Many creeks flow in deep canyons. Sagebrush-steppe yields to mountain shrub communities as one rises in elevation. Large patches of aspen, lodgepole pine, subalpine fir, juniper, and mountain mahogany exist in the area.

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