^
Keep Westword Free
4
| News |

Caught on camera: Big cat on I-70 prowl

For months, dozens of motion-sensor cameras along I-70 between Golden and Glenwood Springs have been snatching nocturnal images of wildlife, in an effort to study how elk, deer, bears and other species negotiate the beastly interstate. The cameras, maintained by the Center for Native Ecosystems, Eco-Resolutions, Colorado Department of Transportation and other partners, captured all sorts of critters seeking to cross under or over the road, including martens, porcupines, mule deer and black bears -- but no lynx, mountain lions or bobcats.

The result puzzled researchers. Were the felines just too elusive, or were they crossing somewhere else? But the cameras have finally caught their first mountain lion. The picture above was taken west of Eagle on August 18, 2009 at 1:32 a.m. and recently posted by CNE.

Tracking migration patterns and documenting habitat fragmentation caused by the crunch of traffic and development is a critical aim of the project. Environmental groups are pushing to build a wildlife bridge over I-70 near Vail Pass, a proposal examined in my August feature "The Bridge to Somewhere."

Felines are among the intended beneficiaries of a wildlife bridge -- especially the camera-shy Canadian lynx. The Colorado Division of Wildlife has spent millions to re-establish the lynx in state forests, only to see several of the cats end up as roadkill; four have died trying to cross I-70, including a pregnant female.

For more snaps of wildlife seeking to cross the road, check out the Center for Native Ecosystems site.

I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.

 

Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.