Lander group works to provide water to wildlife in Wyoming



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CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — A Lander-based group is working to give wildlife across Wyoming access to water.

Water for Wildlife and partner organizations have recently installed five guzzlers — or water tanks — across the state in order to provide drinks for Wyoming's thirsty wildlife, The Casper Star-Tribune reported (http://bit.ly/2hlnKPf).

The group raises money to build and install the water tanks across the state's dry, arid regions. The guzzlers are intended to provide water to animals during periods of drought and also to expand the areas where the animals can live.

When donors ask if their money is working, they often provide photographic evidence. Each guzzler is equipped with a remote-censored trail camera that picks up images of elk, bighorn sheep, pronghorn, songbirds and even bobcats stopping by for a drink.

Erica Flom, executive director of the foundation, said the group has built more than 450 water projects across 12 states since beginning in the early 1970s as a group supporting antelope.

"We've gone through periods of severe drought, which affect all of us, from ranchers to wildlife and you and I," Flom said. "With that, we've realized it's more than just antelope that need these (guzzlers), it's all species. Water for Wildlife restructured itself to encompass all species from birds and waterfowl, large game, small game, everything from A to Z."

Rex Lockman, wildlife range specialist for the Laramie County Conservation District, said he's seen the guzzlers work. Sharp-tailed grouse, pheasants and other game birds flock to water tanks across southeast Wyoming. He estimates Laramie County alone has nearly 100 guzzlers, ranging from small ones meant for birds to large tanks frequented by elk.

"In areas we have installed guzzlers, there's definitely an increase in birds using them," he said. "I definitely think it's a beneficial thing to install."

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Information from: Casper (Wyo.) Star-Tribune, http://www.trib.com

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