Trapping, poisoning, and loss of habitat contributed to the decline of the lynx and its disappearance from our state. However, in the 1990s, CPW began a seven-year effort to reintroduce these amazing animals back into the San Juan Mountains. The reintroduction resulted in astounding success, and our current monitoring efforts suggest that Colorado is home to 150-250 individual animals.
Why Are Lynx Important?
Lynx are beautiful and powerful predators. They are a solitary species, generally traveling and hunting on their own. Their diets include large amounts of quick-reproducing, small animals such as snowshoe hare. Our reintroduction of lynx is one of the highest-profile projects we’ve implemented. We’re proud of our success and are determined to stay proactive in our monitoring efforts to protect these stealthy, ear-tufted felines.
What Are The Associated Challenges?
What is CPW Doing?
Now, our efforts involving lynx focus on monitoring. Our team developed a non-invasive and cost efficient way to check on lynx habitats. Trapping animals to attach collars is an invasive and costly process, but the elusive nature and harsh habitat of the Lynx posed an interesting obstacle.
We formulated two ways to collect critical information:
Teams go out on snowmobiles each winter to record footprints.
Every fall, we place wildlife cameras in forest habitats. We collect them in the spring to find thousands of photos of lynx and other species. Check out these
wildlife camera shots from a research project.