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Status of bison, bighorn, and feral horses - Canceled

August 21, 2014

John Muir said, 'When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe.' This talk shares how changing environmental dynamics, such as food sources, affect bison and bighorn herds and feral horses in Rocky Mountain ecosystems.

Wednesday, August 27
7-8 p.m.
Community Room Combo
Old Town Library
201 Peterson St.

The Ecosystem Science & Sustainability and Natural Resource Ecology Lab in the Warner College of Natural Resources are hosting, Bison, Bighorn, and Feral Horses: Ungulates in Rocky Mountain Ecosystems.

The event is free and open to the public.

The status of ungulate herbivores

Ungulate herbivores are an integral part of Rocky Mountain ecosystems, and as such, managers need to understand how changing environmental dynamics may limit these large herbivores.

Three studies on Rocky Mountain ungulates will be presented and discussed:

  1. In a study of bighorn sheep in a designated wilderness area, we used non-invasive genetic markers from feces to determine bighorn sheep abundance and survivorship for a herd that was hypothesized to be declining. We sampled from a small but accessible portion of the population’s range and relied on citizen science volunteers to maximize data collection and reduce costs. The method has promise in areas where wilderness character and wilderness values are revered, such as within Rocky Mountain National Park.
  2. Bison conservation is currently being proposed in the San Luis Valley of Colorado. This cold desert ecosystem is part of the historic range of bison. We studied bison-elk-vegetation interactions to understand the role of bison in this ecosystem, and provide decision-making capacity to resource managers.
  3. A proposed study of feral horses inhabiting a mountain ecosystem will be presented: Ecological modeling to determine appropriate management level and assess ecological integrity of habitat.

This program is the result of a partnership between Poudre River Public Library District and The Rocky Mountain Environment and Society program in the Natural Resource Ecology Department (NREL) at Colorado State University.

Contact: Melissa Beavers
Phone: (970) 221-6740