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The Goshute Mountains are located in Nevada just a few miles from its eastern border with Utah. The eastern watershed is the Great Salt Lake Basin, which is so generally hostile to life that migrating birds avoid it. Instead, they take advantage of the nearly contiguous mountain chains of the western rim to create a major flyway leading south to Mexico. Food, cover, winds and thermals favorable for soaring attract thousands of raptors on their north-south journey. Hawkwatch International (HWI), a conservation organization dedicated to raptors, has established a research station atop the range at 8600â€™ (2620m) to conduct basic research. Using nets and captive birds as bait, they snare, then measure and band the birds before releasing them unharmed to continue their migration. Passing birds not attracted to the bait are also counted, leading to a long term data source on North American raptor populations. Annual counts are typically between 12,000 and 25,000 individuals of 18 migrating species. This is one of the highest concentrations of migrating raptors in the western United States.
 Notable Species
Raptors either resident or migratory:
Passerines: Many high-desert species, including:
 Other Wildlife
The usual sage desert mammals, e.g., Coyote, American Badger, Kit Fox, Bobcat, Mule Deer, Pronghorn, Blacktail Jackrabbit, Desert Cottontail, Cliff Chipmunk, Striped Skunk, Desert Woodrat, Piute Ground Squirrel, Pinyon Deermouse, and others. Lizards and snakes will be found in warmer seasons.
 Site Information
 History and Use
In 1983, Steve Hoffman theorized that the Goshute Mountains might provide a natural flyway for migrating raptors. Hiking to the top of one of the highest peaks, he discovered that his theory was correct, with hundreds of raptors passing by on a typical day during migration seasons. He and colleagues built the trail to the top and established the Hawkwatch International Organization as a platform for conducting research and championing conservation of raptor species. The Goshute Mountains site is one of 14 now monitored by HWI.
 Areas of Interest
The trail to the research station begins on sagebrush-covered foothills, then passes through pinyon/juniper forest on the way to a rocky summit. Animals of the high-desert biome are found all along the trail. The main area of interest is at the top of the mountain, where there are excellent raptor observation points along a narrow ridge. Visitors are welcome, and may be able to participate in release of banded birds, subject to conditions and staff availability. The banding season extends from mid-August to early November.
 Access and Facilities
Access is via a good paved highway then a rough dirt road appropriate for high-clearance vehicles only. Finally, a strenuous hike on a good trail leads to the summit. Ad hoc camping is possible at the end of the dirt road. Tents are maintained near the research station at the summit that can be reserved through (HWI), or one can backpack camping equipment to one of several good flat areas before the summit appropriate for low-impact camping. Please bring everything you need, including water and food, pack everything back out, and minimize your impact by not unduly disturbing the land or building fires. There is an outhouse.
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