Finding room to roam for Colorado’s iconic wild cats
By Bob Berwyn
SUMMIT COUNTY —The U.S. Forest Service has hit the pause button on a number of projects in Summit County while biologists assess how new trails, ski area improvements and a proposed new backcountry hut affect threatened lynx.
Wildlife experts say that, along with a resident population of four lynx, they’re seeing more and more evidence that Summit County is an important crossroads for the wild cats as they move across the state and they want better information on cumulative impacts in all parts of the county south of I-70. And emerging new data may also help the agency shape a pro-active long-term conservation strategy.
Conservation groups pitch in $5,300 to increase the reward for information on illegal lynx killing near Green Mountain Reservoir in mid-January
By Bob Berwyn
SUMMIT COUNTY — Conservation groups have teamed up to increase the reward for information on a lynx poaching near Heeney in mid-January. Six groups pooled money to raise the reward to a total of $5,800.
“The Colorado Division of Wildlife understands that help from the public is critical in solving these kinds of cases,” said Division of Wildlife spokesman Randy Hampton. “We appreciate the assistance of these organizations in stepping forward to help us catch the person responsible for this crime.”
Wildlife biologists picked up a mortality signal from the lynx’s collar Jan. 18. They found the collar and nearby evidence that the cat was killed illegally. The carcass was missing.
The thirteen year-old female, was one of the first lynx to be released in Colorado when a reintroduction effort started in 1999. Known to researchers as AK-99-F05, she was brought to Colorado from Alaska and was released in the San Juan Mountains. Over the next several years, she ranged hundreds of miles across Colorado, living for periods of time near Silverton, in Rocky Mountain National Park, and above Cataract Lake in northern Summit County, and crossing Vail Pass at least once.