acres of BLM-administered public land along an approximately
80 mile reach of the Snake River in Southwestern Idaho.
river lies within a deep canyon. Cliffs tower up to 700 feet
above the river. Countless ledges, cracks, crevices and pinnacles
provide ideal nesting aeries for birds of prey, also known
Winds blowing against canyon walls create verticle updrafts
which the birds catch to rise out of the canyon to hunt the
arid rangelands beyond the rim. Here numerous small mammals,
birds, reptiles and insects are prey for raptors.
The land adjacent to the canyon contains a complex mosaic
of plant communities dominated by sagebrush with a grass
The area north of the rim has a mantle of deep, finely textured
soil deposited by Pleistocene winds. Much of this area seasonally
teems with burrowing Townsend ground squirrels. These prolific
rodents are the mainstay in the diet of the area's extrordinary
prarie falcon population and important to other birds of
prey and preditory mammals.
The river canyon and surrounding shrub-grass steppe environments
provide habitats for an amazing number and variety of wildlife
species. More than 250 species of mammals, birds, reptiles,
amphibians and fish are found in the area. This rich diverity
of wildlife captured the interest and hearts of scientists
and laymen around the world and resulted in creation of the
Snake River Birds of Prey Area