Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Wyoming
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Wyoming Project

Limiting Factors for Declining Loggerhead Shrikes in Western Wyoming

July 2022 - June 2025


Participating Agencies

  • Wyoming Game & Fish Department - State Wildlife Grant
  • Wyoming Governor's Big Game License Coalition
  • Meg and Bert Raynes Wildlife Fund

The Loggerhead Shrike is a migratory songbird listed as a Species of Greatest Conservation Need in the Wyoming State Wildlife Action Plan (SWAP) and that is declining steeply range-wide. In Wyoming, shrikes nest along tall drainages within sagebrush steppe habitats that have been affected substantially by oil and natural gas development. No targeted or rigorous study of Loggerhead Shrikes has ever been conducted in Wyoming, however, and optimal habitats, breeding success, and causes of decline remain unclear. Maintaining the necessary habitats and conditions for sensitive species while balancing the economic needs of the state is a key challenge for the Wyoming Game and Fish Department and other management agencies. The project was developed and is in collaboration with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. A better understanding of preferred and high-quality habitats will clarify threats to Loggerhead Shrikes in Wyoming and inform future management objectives and approaches. Moreover, by documenting migratory routes and wintering locations, our project will provide foundational information for the species across the full annual cycle, and help assess the extent to which limiting factors exist outside of the breeding period and will inform the next revision of the Wyoming State Wildlife Action Plan.