Region 9 - Great Basin

This large and complex region includes the Northern Basin and Range, Columbia Plateau, and the eastern slope of the Cascade Range. This area is dry due to its position in the rainshadow of the Cascade Range and the Sierra Nevada. Grasslands, sagebrush, and other xeric shrubs dominate the flats and lowlands, with pinon-juniper woodlands and open ponderosa pine forests on higher slopes. Lodgepole pine/sub-alpine fir forests occur at higher elevations on north-facing slopes. Several substantial lowland wetlands are extremely important to shorebirds, including breeding American Avocet, Black-necked Stilt, and Willet, migrating Wilson’s Phalarope, and other water birds, notably Eared Grebe. The region is also important for breeding Mountain Plover and Snowy Plover. Most of North American breeding White-faced Ibis and California Gulls nest in marshes and lakes scattered across the region. The Great Salt Lake and adjacent marshes host large numbers of American White Pelican, Cinnamon Teal, Northern Pintail, Redhead, Tundra Swan, and other waterfowl, and many species of migrant shorebirds. Sage Grouse, Sage Sparrow, and Brewer’s Sparrow are priority land birds of lowlands, with White-headed Woodpecker leading the list of characteristic birds of the region’s pine forests.

Pacific and Yukon

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