Author Archives: Bill Vogrin - DNR

Restoring the State-endangered Boreal Toad

Paul Foutz and Tim Korpita address staff and volunteers from the back of a pickup before everyone headed up the Brown's Creek trail.
Paul Foutz, Colorado Parks and Wildlife native aquatic species biologist and Boreal toad specialist, and Tim Korpita, University of Colorado doctoral candidate, far right, address staff and volunteers from the back of a pickup before everyone headed up the Brown’s Creek trail with their bags of Boreal toad tadpoles for the Purple Rain treatment and release in the wetland. All photos by © Bill Vogrin/CPW.

As temperatures climbed under a blistering sun, about 35 Colorado Parks and Wildlife aquatic biologists, staff and volunteers headed up a steep mountain trail last week, each loaded with large bags of water filled with 200 or so squirming, black Boreal toad tadpoles.

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Rare Hayden Creek Cutthroat Trout

 Justin Krall sits on his mule Speedy
Justin Krall, a District Wildlife Manager for Colorado Parks and Wildlife based in Westcliffe, sits on his mule Speedy as Jenny follows carrying saddle tanks with about 2,000 rare Hayden Creek cutthroat trout.

With his sidearm sticking out from under leather chaps, Justin Krall swung up into the saddle of his mule, Speedy, and gently nudged it up the Cottonwood Creek trail as he tugged the reins of his other mule, Jenny, following behind.

On Jenny’s back were two large saddle tanks packed with about 2,000 rare Hayden Creek cutthroat trout and pressurized steel canisters pumping oxygen into the water. Krall, a District Wildlife Manager for Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW), was helping the agency’s aquatic biologists move the fish about six miles up the steep trail to the upper reaches of the creek.

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White-nose Syndrome threatening Colorado Bat Colonies

CPW terrestrial biologist April Estep, (tan uniform) and Cassidy English, CPW district wildlife manager, stretched mist nets over a drainage south of Colorado Springs on a May evening in preparation for catching and studying bats. Photo by © Bill Vogrin/CPW

In a muddy creek drainage on a chilly Sunday evening in May, Colorado Parks and Wildlife terrestrial biologist April Estep looked for a rock large enough to brace a piece of steel rebar she had hammered into the soggy ground.

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Orphaned Bear Cubs Get A Second Chance at Freedom

Eight orphaned bear cubs get second chance at freedom as CPW places them in artificial dens on Pikes Peak. All photos by © Mike DelliVeneri/CPW.

Hopefully, eight orphaned bear cubs are now sleeping peacefully on Pikes Peak, snug inside artificial dens built by Colorado Parks and Wildlife officers, staff and volunteers during a recent snowstorm.

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Whirling disease-resistant trout thriving in Arkansas River

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A Gunnison River rainbow trout after it was caught last May during spawning operations by Colorado Parks and Wildlife biologists. Because they are resistant to deadly whirling disease, Gunnison River rainbow trout are being spawned so that strain of rainbows can be stocked in rivers across the state. Photo by © Bill Vogrin/CPW

A recent survey by Colorado Parks and Wildlife biologists found rainbow trout thriving in the Arkansas River near Salida offering a hopeful sign for wildlife conservation efforts aimed at overcoming whirling disease, which decimated trout populations in Colorado after its discovery in the 1980s. Read more

Burrowing Owls

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Every year is ‘year of the bird’ for CPW raptor specialist April Estep. Photo by © Bill Vogrin/CPW.

YOTB_stacked_KFrom the passenger seat of a pickup truck going 60 m.p.h. down a southeast Colorado highway, April Estep scanned the landscape using her hand to shield her eyes from the blinding dawn sun.

Estep, a Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) wildlife biologist and raptor expert, was staring intently, searching for prairie dog colonies in passing fields. Read more

Bald Eagles: A Majestic Mystery

Bald Eagle
Bald Eagle. Photo by © Wayne Lewis/CPW.

Mystery surrounds bald eagles as CPW parks celebrate the national symbol.

There’s a mystery surrounding Colorado’s bald eagles. The birds migrate through Colorado every year by the hundreds, roosting, hunting, fishing, nesting and producing new chicks. But recently they’ve migrated away from a favorite viewing site and no one is quite sure why.

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