Guzzlers to Improve Wildlife Habitat in Nevada

There are a lot of volunteer opportunities with Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) coming up to help with wildlife conservation projects! One such opportunity is helping to improve habitat for wildlife with guzzlers. Last week’s Nevada Wild podcast spoke with NDOW Habitat Staff Specialist Matt Maples and Habitat Biologist Kenny Pirkle to speak about the history, impacts, and benefits of guzzlers to improve habitat in Nevada.

Guzzlers are man-made watering holes, installed to collect and store rainwater, to later provide to wildlife in desert regions, where there is not enough of a natural water supply retained to support wildlife. There are storage tanks that store the collected water, and pipes connected to these tanks that gravity feeds into a water trough. These guzzlers are typically secured from feral horses and domestic grazers. Guzzlers are primarily built for big game and upland bird species but are utilized by all wildlife of all sizes and kinds. This has been an ongoing project of NDOW, for over 50 years. There are currently 1740 guzzlers throughout the state of Nevada, 45% of which were installed for bighorn sheep specifically. NDOW installs different sized collection aprons, tanks, and troughs, dependent on annual rainfall and known animals present in the region.

Spring and early summer is when NDOW typically builds, inventories, and repairs existing guzzlers throughout the state, and they are looking for volunteers to help with all aspects of the project. There are six volunteer opportunities coming up for this project in both southern Nevada and northern Nevada and go on until the end of June. The 2nd guzzler project to help with in northern Nevada is coming up on April 20, at the Cocoon Mountain Range east of Fallon. Lunch is provided to volunteers afterwards.

For more information about upcoming volunteer opportunities with guzzlers in southern Nevada, contact Matt Flores at 702-486-5127 ext. 3614 or via email at mhflores@ndow.org, aczarnecki@ndow.org. To volunteer in northern Nevada, contact Matt Maples for more information and to sign up.

Jessica Whalen

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