• Bristlecone Pine

    Great Basin

    National Park Nevada

There are park alerts in effect.
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  • Wheeler Peak Summit Trail Closed

    A small smoldering fire near the trail has caused the closure of the Wheeler Peak Summit Trail. park staff is observing the fire. Check back here to get an update whne the trail will open. Alpine Lakes Loop and Bristlecone Trail are open. More »

  • Road Work at Great Basin National Park

    Road work will begin in Upper Lehman and Wheeler Peak Campgrounds. Campgrounds will be open but may be noisy and have large vehicles on the roads. The Scenic Drive is open with up to 15 min delays due to road work. Click more for details. Updated 9/9/14 More »

  • Travel Not Recommended - Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive Above 8,000 Feet

    Snow and ice may make travel on Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive unsafe, travel is not recommended at this time. Warmer weather over the weekend is expected and conditions may improve. 10/1/2014

  • Snake Creek Road and Campsites Closed

    The Snake Creek Road will be closed from the park boundary into the park to begin work on campsites, trails and restroom improvements. Work will continue until snow closes the project. Work will resume in Spring 2015.

Important Bird Area

What is an Important Bird Area?
Important Bird Areas (IBA) are areas that are designated by the Audubon Society as important places for bird populations and where conservation efforts are focused. Within Nevada there are 39 IBAs, which are sites that provide essential breeding, migration, or wintering habitat for one or more species of birds.

Reasons for IBA Recognition
Great Basin National Park was recognized as an IBA for several reasons:

1. The park supports species identified as high conservation priorities. Out of the 51 bird species listed by the Nevada Partners in Flight, 28 species have range distributions within this IBA.

2. The park contains rare, threatened, or unusual habitats. The high elevation habitats (alpine and subalpine) are unusual in Nevada.

3. This site is exceptional in the state because of its natural or near-natural habitat, meaning that there is little to no human disturbance.

Great Basin Bird Habitats
Habitat types found in the park that are important to birds include:

  • Great Basin juniper woodland
  • Alpine bedrock
  • Montane mixed conifer forest and woodland
  • Aspen-mixed conifer forest and woodland
  • Subalpine bristlecone pine and spruce-fir forests
  • Mountain mahogany woodland and shrubland

Bird Species of Focus in the Great Basin National Park IBA

  • Calliope Hummingbird
  • Olive-sided Flycatcher
  • Sage Sparrow
  • Virginia's Warbler
  • Loggerhead Shrike
  • Sage Thrasher
  • Black-throated Gray Warbler
  • MacGillivray's Warbler
  • Black Rosy-finch
  • Pinyon Jay
  • Yellow-breasted Chat
  • Three-toed Woodpecker
  • Northern Goshawk
  • Red-naped Woodpecker
  • Cooper's Hawk
  • Swainson's Hawk
  • Prairie Falcon
  • Greater Sage Grouse

Threats to the Great Basin National Park IBA
Pinyon Juniper Expansion: The shrub-steppe habitats are impacted by the expanding pinyon-juniper (PJ) woodlands. The stands of PJ and mountain mahogany are also increasing in density, which is crowding out the understory plants. Historically, fire would limit the density and the distribution of the woodlands. Fire suppression, however, has shifted the fire regime.

Invasive Plants: There are 43 invasive weed species present in the park, and four of are particular concern. They are Musk thistle, Spotted knapweed, Bull thistle, and Field bindweed.

Groundwater Pumping: There have been some efforts to pump and transport water to southern Nevada, which would negatively affect the water quantity and wildlife habitat within the park.

More Information
You can find more information on this program, and locate other IBAs throughout the country, by visiting the Audubon Important Bird Areas website.

Did You Know?

non-native plant, cheatgrass

One of the major ecological threats to the sagebrush-dominated Great Basin ecosystem is the introduction and spread of dozens of species of non-native plants. The most important of these, cheatgrass (or downy brome) covers the largest area: 25 million acres, one-third of the area of the Great Basin.