‘Bioblitz’ collects ecosystem data at Garfiled County sites

Ryan Summerlin

Colorado State University scientists, student interns and a couple of high schoolers are venturing into land in Spring Valley and north of Rifle this week to collect wildlife and plant life data, adding to a data set to be used in future conservation efforts.

Rising before dawn Tuesday morning, the scientists and scientists-to-be made the rounds checking 50 small traps at the ranch they’d set the previous night in the hopes of snaring some small mammals. This is the project’s second year to study the ecosystems at these locations, both owned by John Powers.

The team of scientists and interns from CSU’s Colorado Natural Heritage Program is in the area for four days conducting a range of biodiversity studies, which the program has dubbed a “bioblitz.”

Along with trapping and making records of small mammals, this project includes bird surveys, non-harmful fish shocking, insect surveys, as well as the inventory and study of plant life.

This project is also being conducted in collaboration with CMC staff and students, as well as the Aspen Global Change Institute.

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