The Utah Natural Heritage Program (UNHP) assimilates and synthesizes information concerning rare species for use in land management and species conservation applications. This information is maintained in the UNHP database and includes both species-level information—e.g., assessments of species conservation status from a statewide perspective—and population-level information, which includes GIS coverages for species of high conservational interest. Beginning in 1996 an effort to develop information in the UNHP database for animal species was funded by the Utah Reclamation, Mitigation, and Conservation Commission under authority of the Central Utah Project Completion Act. Initial efforts focused on assigning conservation priority ranks. Several factors—comprising the number and size of populations, the extent of the Utah range, population trends, and threats to population viability—for each vertebrate species occurring in the state were considered in the development of relative conservation priority ranks. Species having the greatest and most immediate conservation needs comprise the UNHP tracking list, which designates species for which data are acquired and managed in the UNHP database. A UNHP report completed during 1997 (UDWR 1997) summarized the UNHP vertebrate tracking list and reviewed literature pertaining to the conservation status of these species. Since 1997, a focus of database development efforts has been the acquisition of population-level data, comprising geospatial attributes of populations and information pertaining to their status and viability, such as observation dates, population estimates, population trends, and habitat condition. Although published literature has been an important source of these data, a large portion of the information in the database is unpublished. Many records have been acquired through queries of museum research collections, notably collections maintained by the University of Utah’s Museum of Natural History and Brigham Young University’s Monte L. Bean Museum. Many other unpublished records in the database have been acquired through collaboration with agency biologists, including those associated with the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), U. S. Forest Service, and the Bureau of Land Management. Data acquired within UDWR from the various programs involved in the management of native species comprises the bulk of the unpublished information in the database. Concurrent with the development of population-level data, the UNHP tracking list has been modified as data have been acquired and changes in conservation priorities have become evident. This report summarizes the information contained in the UNHP database for the 132 taxa on the current vertebrate tracking list.
State of Utah Department of Natural Resources; Bosworth III, William R.; Division of Wildlife Resources; and Utah Natural Heritage Program, "Vertebrate Information Compiled by the Utah Natural Heritage Program: A Progress Report" (2003). All U.S. Government Documents (Utah Regional Depository). Paper 411.