Three American Avocets take flight from a wetland.
Three American Avocets take flight from a wetland.
Gillmor Sanctuary

Audubon's Edward L. & Charles F. Gillmor Sanctuary

Protecting critically important shorebird habitat along Great Salt Lake
American Avocets. Photo: Evan Barrientos/Audubon Rockies
American Avocets. Photo: Evan Barrientos/Audubon Rockies
Gillmor Sanctuary

Audubon's Edward L. & Charles F. Gillmor Sanctuary

Protecting critically important shorebird habitat along Great Salt Lake

Located along the southern shoreline of Great Salt Lake, Audubon’s 3,597-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 includes adjacent land owned by the Utah Reclamation Mitigation Conservation Commission, that Audubon manages as well, known as the South Shore Preserve.

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 wetland bird conservation. 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.

News and Stories

Snowy Plover: The Beauty of Existence
Gillmor Sanctuary

Snowy Plover: The Beauty of Existence

Subtle Beauty of Shorebirds Series: October

A Step Forward in Securing Water for a Drying Great Salt Lake
Gillmor Sanctuary

A Step Forward in Securing Water for a Drying Great Salt Lake

Collaboration of business, government agencies, and conservation groups dedicate water to Farmington Bay of Great Salt Lake for ten years.

Pectoral Sandpiper: Supreme Master of Migratory Movement
Gillmor Sanctuary

Pectoral Sandpiper: Supreme Master of Migratory Movement

Less sandpiper, more grasspiper.

The Marvel and Mystery of Marbled Godwit Migration
Gillmor Sanctuary

The Marvel and Mystery of Marbled Godwit Migration

The Subtle Beauty of Shorebirds series, July

The Coming and Going of Yellowlegs at Great Salt Lake
Gillmor Sanctuary

The Coming and Going of Yellowlegs at Great Salt Lake

Subtle Beauty of Shorebirds series, June

Governor Cox Declares 2021 as Year of the Shorebird at Great Salt Lake
Gillmor Sanctuary

Governor Cox Declares 2021 as Year of the Shorebird at Great Salt Lake

Declaration celebrates 30th anniversary of Great Salt Lake as a Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network Site

Utah’s Migratory Bird Production Areas Receive a Boost
Saline Lakes Program

Utah’s Migratory Bird Production Areas Receive a Boost

New bill increases protections for Great Salt Lake bird habitat.

Land Donation Secures a Future for Wildlife at Audubon’s Gillmor Sanctuary
Gillmor Sanctuary

Land Donation Secures a Future for Wildlife at Audubon’s Gillmor Sanctuary

Audubon receives a 413-acre donation critical to shorebird habitat from Epperson Associates, LLC.

Securing Gillmor Sanctuary’s Future
Gillmor Sanctuary

Securing Gillmor Sanctuary’s Future

A land donation to Audubon’s Gillmor Sanctuary protects the future of shorebird habitat restoration.

The Harrier and the Owl
Gillmor Sanctuary

The Harrier and the Owl

A poetic observation of interesting raptor behavior near Audubon's Gillmor Sanctuary.

Learn more

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.

How you can help, right now