It’s great to have diversity at work. We started the season with sage grouse lek counts and Habitat Assessment Framework for sage grouse, then moved onto range trend which we finished up this week! Now we get to move onto a new project which is great, doing something new and expanding my knowledge is just what I signed up for when I accepted this internship with the BLM in Shoshone Idaho. Our new project is lek assessments, determining the suitability of a site as a sage grouse lek.
To determine the suitability of a lek, we get to drive and hike in beautifully remote areas in Craters of the Moon National Monument, seeing and exploring areas that not many people get to see. Once we arrive at a site we determine if there is enough cover around the lek and whether there are places for predators, such as raptors, to perch. We also listen and record any noises we hear while we are there, and record the dominate plant species. Not every lek is exceptional but we get to see them all!
So, What does a great lek site look like you ask? Here are some pictures, you can see for yourself.