Find Posts By Topic

Announcing the 2024 Wildlife Research Program Grant Recipients

In early April, Seattle City Light and its Skagit River Hydroelectric Project Wildlife Research Advisory Committee announced the recipients of the 2024 Wildlife Research Grants. These grants are funded by the Wildlife Research Program (WRP), which has funded more than 75 projects since 1999.

City Light offers wildlife-research funding to qualified recipients for the purpose of developing understanding, management, and protection of wildlife resources in the North Cascades ecosystem. Each project the WRP has funded seeks to increase our knowledge and support graduate and undergraduate students in natural resources fields. 

Read more about the projects awarded grants in 2024:

Project Title: “Assessing Winter Distribution of Wrangel Island lesser snow geese and impacts on resource use in the Skagit River Delta”

Grantee: Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife 

Large flocks of snow geese use the lower Skagit River watershed agricultural lands every winter. This research is assessing the current and historic geographical winter distribution of snow geese and studying what areas and habitats are important in the Skagit Valley, and what areas can be used to mitigate conflicts with private landowners. The research will use data from geese marked with GPS transmitters to describe current migration routes and migration phenology and quantify wintering habitat.

Project Title: “Lynx Habitat Use in the Face of Increasing Fire in the North Cascades”

Grantee: Home Range Wildlife Research 

Home Range Wildlife Research is a 501(c)3 non-profit research organization based in Winthrop.  The study will assess habitat use by Canada lynx (a State Endangered and Federally Threatened species) in burned habitats.  They will monitor lynx fitted with global positioning system (GPS) collars to determine what types, amounts, and configuration of regenerating burned habitats support core areas of lynx home ranges. This will inform forest managers on how to adjust fire and fuels management actions to be compatible with conservation of lynx habitat and populations.

Project Title: “The Cascades Carnivore Monitoring Program: A 20-Year Vision for the Collaborative Monitoring of Wolverines and Canada Lynx”

Grantee:  Woodland Park Zoo

The Woodland Park Zoo and Washington State University researchers are collaborating to actualize the first phase of a long-term monitoring program by using camera traps to survey stations throughout the north and central Cascades, as well as the transboundary Cascadia region North Cascades for wolverines and Canada lynx over a two-year timeframe and use the survey data along with data from the last 10 years to create maps showing the current status of each species and dynamic occupancy models.

Project Title: “Investigation Of Increased Winter Coat Color Mismatch in Snowshoe Hare (Lepus americanus) due to Wildfire-Driven Earlier Snowmelt Timing in Post-Fire Forests”

Grantee:  Central Washington University

Photo credit: National Park Service

Snowshoe hares are known for their seasonal variation in fur color, from brown in spring-fall to white in winter. Central Washington University researchers will be studying whether snowshoe hare coat color mismatch occurs more frequently in areas where large wildfires reduce snowpack cover duration relative to nearby unburned areas.