Volunteers wanted to identify various species of wildlife caught by remote cameras for the Colorado Corridors Project.

Want to play “I Spy” with Colorado’s wildlife? Get your glasses on, jump online, and settle in to check out some animals in their natural habitat, all in the name of research.

The Vail Pass Byway on I-70 has long been identified as an important movement corridor for wildlife, including elk, mule deer, and Canada lynx. Because of the increasing volumes of traffic, up to 22,000 vehicles in an average day, migration of many species is disrupted. Many animals won’t cross the roadway, or worse, they try to head out over the interstate, putting themselves and drivers at grave risk.

The Summit County Safe Passages for Wildlife Connectivity Plan was initiated by the U.S. Forest Service to try to mitigate the situation. It proposed two underpasses and an overpass to help animals safely cross I-70. An integral part of the plan is monitoring the wildlife to assess the areas they frequent and which species are active in what areas to help determine the proper site of a crossing and much more.

This is where you come in!

The Colorado Corridors Project is an initiative of Denver Zoo and Rocky Mountain Wild, aimed at engaging volunteers in wildlife monitoring at the Vail Pass Wildlife Byway proposed overpass location.

“Volunteers assist with setting up and checking remote-triggered cameras in the field, as well as identifying and cataloging species captured on the cameras through Zooniverse. The wildlife data that volunteers help us collect through this project will be used to assess the effectiveness of the wildlife crossing structure by comparing data collected before and after construction of the overpass,” said the Colorado Corridors Website.

The call for volunteers has been made to turn their eagle eyes to the thousands of photos caught by the remote-triggered cameras so far. The project needs your help identifying the animals that made their camera debut.

Simply go to the site https://www.zooniverse.org/projects/coloradocorridorsproject/colorado-corridors-project and click “Get Started” to join the project.

“Thank you all for your help on this project! It would not be possible for us to monitor wildlife on Vail Pass without you,” said project researchers.

What do you think of the Colorado Corridors Project? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.

 

Welcome, Winifred, the Denver Zoo’s newest addition!

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