Gillmor Sanctuary
Gillmor Sanctuary.
Gillmor Sanctuary

Audubon’s Edward L. and Charles F. Gillmor Sanctuary

Protecting critically-important shorebird habitat along Great Salt Lake
Gillmor Sanctuary. Photo: Heidi Hoven/Audubon
Gillmor Sanctuary. Photo: Heidi Hoven/Audubon
Gillmor Sanctuary

Audubon’s Edward L. and Charles F. Gillmor Sanctuary

Protecting critically-important shorebird habitat along Great Salt Lake

Located along the southern shoreline of Great Salt Lake, Audubon’s 1514-acre Gillmor Sanctuary provides vital habitat to vast numbers of shorebirds, waterfowl, and other migratory birds. It is an area of wide-open vistas and an abundance of wildlife attracted to wetlands and uplands restored and protected by Audubon. Gillmor Sanctuary is part of the 2,804-acre South Shore Preserve, which includes adjacent land owned by the Utah Reclamation Mitigation Conservation Commission, that Audubon manages as well.

Gillmor Sanctuary provides nesting habitat for many bird species, such as American Avocet, Wilson’s Phalarope, Black-Necked Stilt, Cinnamon Teal, and Gadwall. Its saline mudflats provide essential resources for many migrating shorebirds, including Marbled Godwits, Least and Western Sandpipers, Long-billed Dowitchers, and Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs. The sanctuary also provides nesting and migratory habitat for many species of waterfowl and other waterbirds. In the upland habitat, Loggerhead Shrikes, Brewer’s Sparrows, Sage Thrashers, Burrowing and Short-eared Owls, and other species nest.

Amid rapid population growth, rising water demand, and climate change, protecting Great Salt Lake and its wetlands is critical to many species. Audubon’s goal at Gillmor Sanctuary is to provide diverse and healthy habitats for birds with a focus on managing saline mudflats as shorebird habitat. Through science-based adaptive management, we’re increasing number of waterbirds nesting, migrating, and wintering on the property and developing stewardship techniques that we share with other land managers and decision-makers to influence the future of Great Salt Lake and its wetlands.

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Great Salt Lake

Gillmor Sanctuary is part of the Great Salt Lake wetland ecosystem, a vital pathway for millions of nesting and migrating birds. Unfortunately, Great Salt Lake is drying up, threatening the survival of countless birds and the air quality of neighboring communities. Audubon is taking measures at Gillmor Sanctuary to understand the implications of climate change and a growing human footprint on shorebird habitat. Learn what else Audubon’s Saline Lakes Program is doing to secure a reliable water supply for Great Salt Lake and for the birds, businesses, and Utahns that depend on it.

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