Category Archives: Conservation

Keeping Wildlife Wild: Mountain Goats

Mountain Goat
Young mountain goat stands near the summit of Mount Evans. All photos by © Doug Skinner/CPW.

Every year thousands of residents and tourists drive up the highest paved road in North America located at Mount Evans to be on top of one of Colorado’s 54 14ers, those that soar over 14,000 feet in elevation.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife reminds those that ascend up the Mount Evans Scenic Byway (Colorado Highway 5) to its peak elevation of 14,264 feet to do their part in helping keep wildlife wild by not feeding any animals they encounter and keeping a safe distance from them.

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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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Camping and Hiking in Bear Country

Black bear rummaging through campsite.
Photo by Laura Kali is licensed under CC BY 2.0

With warmer weather and melting snowpack, outdoor enthusiasts are enjoying camping and hiking trips in Colorado’s many scenic locations. Colorado Parks and Wildlife staff are frequently asked what someone should do if they encounter a bear while out camping or hiking. Whether you are visiting Colorado for a vacation or are a long-time resident, it’s important to be aware of how to discourage human-bear encounters and how to avoid potential issues before heading out to live life outside.

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Livin’ the Wildlife: Colorado Wild Turkeys

Hunters Fund Conservation

The wild turkey is beloved among hunters and wildlife enthusiasts alike. And the wild turkey’s springtime mating displays are one of the most exciting and stunning events in nature. Yet, these iconic birds only exist today because of dedicated conservation programs. This video provides an overview of the wild turkey’s mating behavior and Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s efforts to conserve this amazing species. The video features both Rio Grande turkeys and the native Merriam’s turkeys.

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Field Notes of a Rookie Sportsperson: Excitement Builds for our First-ever Turkey Hunt

Natalie examines turkey feathers
Natalie Duncan, 14, examines turkey feathers during a Turkey Hunting 101 class that was part of CPW’s Rookie Sportsman Program which introduces newcomers and novices to Colorado’s outdoor opportunities including hunting, fishing, camping and hiking. Natalie is taking the class with her father, Travis Duncan, who is a CPW public information officer.

Calling a turkey is much different than being called a turkey. In fact, it’s much harder to call a turkey than I ever dreamed because the birds are really smart.

Thanks to what we learned about the wild, upland ground bird in our Rookie Sportsperson Program (RSP) classes in April, my daughter, Natalie, and I have a much deeper appreciation for wild turkey and are more excited than ever as we prepare to go seek them out on what will be our first-ever turkey hunt.

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Studying Beetle Impacts on Wildlife

Game Camera
Wildlife Technician Tim Hanks with one of the game cameras installed in a recent study.

As Colorado’s private and public forests recover from insect and disease outbreaks and other disturbances, humans and wildlife are adjusting to significant environmental changes. Spruce beetle and mountain pine beetle outbreaks may have changed the way you recreate, but have you thought about how wildlife are responding?

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