Nevada's Citizen Scientists Help Wildlife

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Citizen scientists have a new tool for recording their observations and measurements of wildlife – the Nevada Sportsmen's Journal.

Every year critical data is collected by sportsmen and used by the Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) to interpret the status of Nevada's game and fish populations. Their analyses are used to make recommendations for habitat management and hunting and fishing seasons.

In the free pocket-sized journal, sportsmen can record their memories of pursuing game and fish in the state. The Sportsmen's Journal has a hunting and an angling section with a place to record such information as species pursued, location, conditions, and harvest information. It will be given to sportsmen purchasing licenses at NDOW offices.

NDOW typically mails out small game and angler questionnaires well after seasons have ended. Hunters and anglers who use the Sportsmen's Journal will be able to provide an accurate recollection of their harvest and days afield, key information sought within the post-season questionnaires.

"Because our former questionnaire was insufficient in gathering harvest and hunter data for lightly hunted species like blue grouse and mountain quail, we recently revised the survey form," said Craig Mortimore, NDOW game biologist. "We're preparing to collect information exclusively from those who purchase Nevada Duck Stamps and Upland Game Stamps rather than a random sampling of all license buyers as we had done in the past," he said.

The brainchild of Mortimore and fisheries biologist Mark Warren, the publication is funded from various sources. The Nevada Chukar Foundation and the Carson Valley Chukar Club provided substantial funding for the Sportsmen's Journal, with additional support from Upland Game Stamp, Nevada Duck Stamp, and Sport Fish Restoration and Wildlife Restoration program funds collected by NDOW.

The booklet also contains useful information about online resources available to sportsmen and angling tips that can help make one's time in the field more enjoyable.

Mortimore will likely be the more avid users of the Sportsmen's Journal. "I can envision years and years of these lined up on a shelf, with each year's license tucked into the pocket we put on the inside," he said.

Artwork featuring a collage of game species by Jani Lamoreux of Ely graces the cover.

The Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) protects, restores and manages fish and wildlife, promotes fishing, hunting, and boating safety. NDOW's wildlife and habitat conservation efforts are primarily funded by sportsmen's license and conservation fees and a federal surcharge on hunting and fishing gear. Support wildlife and habitat conservation in Nevada by purchasing a hunting, fishing, or combination license. For more information, visit www.ndow.org.