Wildlife Wednesdays: Mason Valley WMA

A male canvasback (Aythya valisineria) during breeding season.

Nevada’s wildlife management areas (WMAs) are slices of natural land representative of the state’s native ecosystems, a series of 12 designated areas totaling over 120,000 acres. Each vary in shape, size, and amount of biodiversity conserved, but all contribute to saving Nevada’s historic landscapes for the future.

The Mason Valley Wildlife Management Area (MVWMA) spans over 17,500 acres in western Nevada, keeping a large tract of habitat connected for native species to flourish in. Habitat types range from desert shrub lands to wet meadows, riparian corridors, emergent wetlands, and deep-water zones, supporting a litany of invertebrate, fish, and bird species.

At MVWMA you’ll find a diverse variety of waterfowl like ruddy ducks, green-winged teals, and canvasbacks (Aythya valisineria), along with an assortment of shorebirds, wading birds, and songbirds. Did you know that the oldest canvasback ever recorded was 22 years old? The WMA also supports larger animals like mule deer, coyotes, bobcats, badgers, kit foxes, and occasionally even mountain lions!

With so much open space and habitat variety to explore, now’s the perfect time to check out the Mason Valley Wildlife Management Area. You’ll be sure to see a bunch of birds, reptiles, small mammals, and maybe even a coyote or bobcat!

Aaron Huelsman

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