(San Juan Mountains, CO)
Colorado Parks and Wildlife is continuing its study of Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep and elk populations in south central Colorado. As part of the study, the agency plans to capture and place tracking collars on 20 elk and six bighorns next week.
The ‘capture’ will be done by a helicopter crew in the South San Juan Mountains on both the east and west sides of the Continental Divide. Some of the capturing will take place in the South San Juan Wilderness Area.
Hikers and bicyclists in the region may see or hear a helicopter. At times the helicopter will be flying low while following animals and will briefly land to complete the collaring. The flights are slated for remote areas away from most established trails, and disturbances in any single area should be minimal. Signs will be posted at trailheads to inform wilderness users of areas that might be influenced by motorized activity.
Earlier this year 29 elk and six bighorns were captured. The collars provide location information to state wildlife biologists who will monitor animal movements for the next five years.