Sunday, December 06, 2020

Colorado Parks and Wildlife to begin winter wildlife classifications using airplanes, helicopters

Colorado Parks and Wildlife is preparing for its winter wildlife classifications this season, utilizing low-flying helicopters and airplanes to capture and classify big game species.

The classification flights will be held statewide from December to February. CPW classifies animals by age and sex to determine the health of herds, providing researchers with data to estimate wildlife populations and compositions.

“The short duration of flight disturbances is warranted by the important biological information that is gathered,” said CPW Area Wildlife Manager Matt Yamashita.

Winter is the ideal season for these kinds of classification operations, according to CPW.

“Winter is the safest time to conduct capture work,” said Nathaniel Rayl, CPW researcher. “Cool ambient temperatures and moderate snow depths help prevent overheating and injury when capturing big game species with a helicopter.”

Residents of northwest Colorado may see low flying aircraft during the operations; however, CPW said it aims to minimize noise and disruption in residential areas.

CPW taking applications aiming to restore wetland habitat projects

Classification flights began in southeast Colorado near Park and Fremont counties on Nov. 30, assessing deer, elk, moose and bighorn sheep. Later flights will target El Paso, Teller, Lake and Chaffee counties.

Other CPW winter study work includes operations to capture, assess and collar elk, deer and pronghorn in the Bears Ears, White River, Roaring Fork, Steamboat Springs and Middle Park areas.

The studies will, in part, assess the survival rates, migration patterns and seasonal movement of these species.

1 comment:

  1. Apparently, resident "urban elk" herds that don't migrate are part of the collar and track study, too.


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