Great Basin

Level II Ducks Unlimited conservation priority area, major production area for Pacific Flyway waterfowl

© Matthew McClanahan

The Great Basin region lies in the rain shadow of the Cascade and Sierra Nevada mountain ranges. The limited wetland areas are threatened by various human activities and provide vital habitat for waterfowl and other wetland wildlife in this otherwise dry region. Continued population growth is placing increased demands on limited freshwater supplies which are needed to sustain wetlands and to help prevent disease outbreaks. Water quality and quantity are the chief concerns for Intermountain West and Great Basin wetlands.

Importance to waterfowl

  • Great Basin mapVast area with scattered, but very productive, wetlands.
  • Major spring and fall migration stopover.
  • Important Pacific Flyway waterfowl production areas for cinnamon teal, redheads, gadwall, mallards and canvasback.

Habitat issues

  • Competing interests for water: wildlife vs. agriculture vs. urban uses.
  • Habitat loss primarily from water diversions, agricultural land uses and urban expansion.

DU's conservation focus

  • Salt Lake marshImprove management capabilities of limited water supplies on public and private lands.
  • Increase habitat values for waterfowl migration and reproduction.
  • Restore emergent marsh hydrologic functions to support waterfowl throughout the year.

States in the Great Basin region

Oregon | IdahoNevadaUtahCalifornia | Washington

More information