Imperiled Species Monitoring
Vesper Meadow is an upland wet meadow that is grazed only by native elk and deer, making it rare sanctuary for threatened species like Mardon Skipper and Vesper Sparrow. We continue our inventorying efforts, and welcome trained biologists to partner with us for further surveys.
Mardon Skipper Surveys
Federally threatened, and listed as Endangered in Washington State, the Mardon Skipper only has a few known habitat sites left. Mardon Skippers prefer upland wet meadows with certain native grasses to lay their eggs, and particular flowers to obtain food. Most upland wet meadows have been heavily degraded by alterations to the hydology or heavy grazing by cattle.
Adjacent to the site with the largest known population of Mardon Skippers in the world, Vesper Meadow is honored to contribute information to ongoing surveys. As with our general butterfly surveys, our Mardon Skipper search protocol follows guidelines set by the Xerces Society.
With help from butterfly experts like Linda Kappen, John Villella, Dianne Keller, Norm Barrett, and many super volunteers, we detected Mardon skippers in Ponderosa Pine - savannah habitat at Vesper Meadow 2018-2019.
Vesper Sparrow Study
With around 2,000 individuals left and no federal protections for the species, the Oregon Vesper Sparrow is one of North America’s most imperiled birds.
Get involved as a volunteer in our community Vesper Watch during the May/June breeding season, and the August/ September fledgling season!
Information collected at Vesper Meadow by the Klamath Bird Observatory is contributing to a range‐wide Oregon Vesper Sparrow study to assess limiting factors and inform conservation action. This study will assess productivity, survivorship, dispersal, recruitment, and habitat in order to identify where within the annual life cycle conservation actions are needed. In 2018, KBO located and monitored nests as well as color banded adult Vesper Sparrows at Lily Glen Equestrian Park, the project will now focus on re-sighting color banded birds to measure dispersal, survival, and recruitment as well as continuing the nest monitoring and banding efforts.
See the Vesper Sparrow video on Youtube.
During the Vesper Sparrow monitoring for the 2019 breeding season, we collected data from roughly 35 breeding pairs living at Vesper Meadow! Thanks to our Vesper Watch volunteers: