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Colorado biologists boosting bighorn sheep herds

Successful transplant increases numbers in northern Sangre de Cristo Mountains

Colorado Parks and Wildlife biologists take blood samples while transplanting bighorn sheep in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. PHOTO COURTESY COLORADO PARKS AND WILDLIFE.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — A herd of bighorn sheep in the Sangre de Cristo mountains gained nine new animals recently, as Colorado Parks and Wildlife biologists completed a second translocation of sheep captured in the southern part of the range.

The nine bighorn sheep join 13 others that were moved into the mountains of northeastern Saguache County in a similar operation in 2010.

Before 2010, the northern Sangre de Cristo Mountains had not had bighorn sheep since the 198os. In the southern part of the range, bighorm sheep have been thriving, providing a good source for the transplant. Visit this Colorado Parks and Wildlife website to learn more about the state’s bighorn conservation efforts. Continue reading

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Elk poaching investigated near Copper Mountain

Information sought in suspected elk poaching near Copper Mountain, at Stafford Creek.

State wildlife officers want info on elk that was killed and left to rot

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Wildlife officers are seeking information that can help identify the person or persons who illegally killed a bull elk and abandoned its carcass near Stafford Creek, approximately one mile from I-70 in the vicinity of Copper Mountain.

The elk was probably killed in early September and the suspected poachers removed only the head, antlers and a few portions of the hide, abandoning the meat.

“Shooting big-game and leaving the meat to rot is a senseless waste of Colorado’s wildlife resources,” said Breckenridge District Wildlife Manager Sean Shepherd. “This is essentially stealing from the people of Colorado, and whoever did this could face felony charges. We would appreciate any help in finding who did this.”

Wildlife investigators are asking any member of the public who might have information concerning this incident to contact CPW’s Operation Game Thief. The poaching hotline is offering a $500 reward for information that leads to an arrest in this case, and callers can remain anonymous by calling toll free, 1-877-265-6648. More info is online at Operation Game Thief.

Colorado: Can predator control stem mule deer decline?

Why is Colorado's mule deer herd declining? PHOTO COURTESY COLORADO PARKS AND WILDLIFE.

Public invited to Aug. 15 information session in Meeker

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Colorado wildlife researchers say the deer herd in the northwestern part of the state is shriveling due to a perfect storm of severe winters, drought, predation, and increased traffic from oil and gas exploration.

The decline has spurred some talk of predator control, which could mean increased hunting of mountain lions and coyotes. Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials will approach that and other topics related to the state’s mule deer herd at an Aug. 15 meeting at the Fairfield Center in Meeker ( 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., 200 Main Street). Continue reading

Colorado: Celebrate wildlife at Grand Mesa Moose Day

Moose biology and history featured at event, along with kids activities

Moose near the headwaters of the Fraser River, Grand County, Colorado. Bob Berwyn photo.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Colorado wildlife enthusiasts will once again gather this weekend to celebrate the state’s growing moose population at the second annual Grand Mesa Moose Day.

“As their population continues to grow in Colorado, people’s interest has increased as well,” said Parks and Wildlife watchable wildlife coordinator Trina Romero. “Moose sightings can be a great experience and we encourage people to learn more about them and how to watch them safely.” Continue reading

New Colorado state wildlife & parks board to meet

A northern goshawk in the forest near Breckenridge, Colorado. PHOTO BY JENNEY COBERLY.

July 7 – 8 meeting set to discuss merger of agencies, elect officers and conduct regular business

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — The first meeting of the new combined Colorado Parks and Wildlife Board will include the election of officers that will set regulations and policies for the new Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife, as well as a two-hour discussion about the merger of the former Colorado Division of Wildlife and Colorado State Parks.

The two-day meeting is July 7 and July 8 at the Hunter Education Building, located at the Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife’s campus at 6060 North Broadway. Audio from the meeting will be streamed live online at the wildlife commission website. Continue reading

Colorado predator control programs approved

Colorado Division of Wildlife biologists may help a transplanted population of desert bighorn sheep survive by kiilling mountain lions. PHOTO VIA THE CREATIVE COMMONS.

State wildlife agency wins permission to kill coyotes and mountain lions to protect sage grouse and desert bighorn sheep

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Colorado Division of Wildlife biologists this week won permission from the state wildlife commission to protect sage grouse and desert bighorn sheep by killing coyotes and possibly mountain lions.

One of the predator control programs is aimed at preventing the predation of sage grouse nests in and around the Dan Noble state wildlife area, near Telluride. The second program involves controlling mountain lions that may be preying on a small re-introduced herd of bighorn sheep in Middle Dolores Canyon. Continue reading

Happy Thanksgiving: Wild turkeys thriving in Colorado

The wild turkey — Benjamin Franklin's first choice as the national bird.

Turkey restoration among the state’s most successful wildlife programs

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Never mind all the domesticated turkeys that will end up in roasting pans tomorrow — America’s wild turkeys have made a magnificent comeback in the past few decades thanks to restoration programs by wildlife agencies and nonprofit sportsmen’s groups across the country.

In Colorado, there are more wild turkeys than ever, according to the Colorado Division of Wildlife. The state wildlife agency started developing strategies to increase turkey populations in the early 1980s.

Since then, turkeys have been released, or colonized on their own, into most of the available habitat in the state. Wild turkeys now live in 53 of the state’s 63 counties. Colorado’s program ranks among the most successful species conservation efforts in the agency’s history. Continue reading

Bighorn sheep transplanted to northern Sangre de Cristos

CDOW biologists place a radio collar on a bighorn sheep before releasing it in the northern Sangre de Cristos. PHOTO COURTESY COLORADO DIVISION OF WILDLIFE.

State wildlife agency working to restore population in good habitat

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Colorado Division of Wildlife biologists transferred 13 Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep from the crags of the southern Sangre de Cristo to the northern part of the range, where they haven’t lived since the 1980s.

Since the bighorns are thriving in the southern Sangres, the division decided to take advantage of an opportunity to reestablish Colorado’s state animal to another part of its historic range. Continue reading

CDOW wants input on Front Range bear plan

A Colorado black bear, photographed for the Colorado Division of Wildlife by Michael Seraphin.

Public plays big role in Colorado wildlife management, meetings set for Denver, Loveland

By Bob Berwyn

SUMMIT COUNTY — Colorado Division of Wildlife biologists want public input on a new
bear management plan for parts of the Front Range, including areas north of Interstate 70 and portions of Clear Creek, Gilpin, Jefferson, Boulder and Larimer counties. A big focus is on black bear populations and conflict management in Game Management Units 7, 8, 9, 19, 20, 29, 38 and 191.

“The Division of Wildlife is eager to gather input from landowners, outdoor enthusiasts, and hunters to help us gauge management strategies and desired population trends for writing a management plan,” said DOW biologist Mark Vieira. “Wildlife belongs to all of the public and we’d like everyone to have a say.”

Wednesday, Aug.  25 at The Ranch Loveland, McKee Building, Berthoud Room, 5280 Arena Circle, 6:30 p.m. -8:30 p.m.

Thursday, Aug.  26, at the Hunter Education Building, DOW Denver Headquarters, 6060 Broadway, 6:30 -8:30 p.m.

To submit comments about black bear management in northeast Colorado, please contact Mark Vieira at: (970) 472-4452 .

Click here for more news about Division of Wildlife.

Summit County: Citizen naturalists needed!

Volunteers with the Witness for Wildlife project measure animal track in Herman Gulch. PHOTO COURTESY CENTER FOR NATIVE ECOSYSTEMS.

Help create safe wildlife crossing in Colorado; Lily Pad Lake hike set for Tuesday, Aug. 3 and spots are still open. If you can’t make it, Summit Voice will  tweet live from the trail. Click on this link to follow on Twitter.

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By Bob Berwyn

SUMMIT COUNTY — High country residents, volunteering as citizen naturalists, can help Colorado wildlife experts gather data on how and where animals move through the local forests, and where they might cross roads by participating in the Witness for Wildlife program.

A Summit County hike is set for Tuesday, Aug. 3 up the Lily Pad Lake Trail, and a few spots are still open. Hikers will meet at 9 a.m. at the Lily Pad Lake trailhead near Frisco.

The goal of the program is to get people up into Colorado’s high mountain wildlife corridors to search for signs like tracks and scat. The trips are led by volunteers that have been trained in wildlife tracking techniques, scat identification, data collection, GPS skills, trip leading, and field safety.

The track and scat data collected this season by citizen naturalists will used to supplement and ground-truth the data we’re collecting as part of the I-70 Safe Passages Project. The goal of this is to create safe wildlife passages through our busy mountain highway system. This helps makes highways safer for drivers, too. Detailed information on the I-70 Safe Passage project is online here. Continue reading


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