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Recent rains that have fallen in southern Nevada have provided welcome relief for the state’s wildlife by improving habitat conditions and filling water developments that have been placed throughout the desert for birds and bighorn sheep.

“We’re now in really good shape in terms of water storage,” said Roddy Shepard, Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) habitat biologist. “Our small and big game water developments were filled during the recent storms, so that’s very positive for wildlife.”

Shepard said that water developments, often called guzzlers, have been placed throughout the state by NDOW and sportsman’s groups to provide year round sources of water for wildlife. Guzzlers capture rainwater and funnel it to holding tanks where it can be accessed by bighorn sheep, quail, lizards and other wildlife.
All of the small game guzzlers that Shepard checked recently near Searchlight were full. He believes that is also the case with both small and large game guzzlers found throughout the southern end of the state.

“Right now the habitat conditions are good. The grasses that didn’t grow in late spring and summer are now coming up,” said Shepard.

He said that upland game bird hunters should see the improved conditions when they are in the field for the opening of quail and chukar hunting seasons on Oct. 11. They will also find more game birds than last year as a result of fairly good breeding success this year.

NDOW habitat biologists and volunteers will be working during the fall and winter months to inspect and maintain big and small game water developments. There are more than 350 such developments found in Clark, Lincoln and southern Nye counties.


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