Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Hops blue butterfly talk at the High County Lepidopterists’ Conference

Zoologist Rob Schorr (top left) and students
Callie Puntenney and Emily Vavra at the event 
Zoologist Rob Schorr and honors undergraduate students Callie Puntenney and Emily Vavra attended the 25th Annual High Country Lepidopterists’ Conference at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science November 8, 2014.  Rob presented their work estimating the habitat occupancy of the hops blue butterfly (Celastrina humulus) along Monument Creek at the U.S. Air Force Academy.  The abstract from their work is published in the first Denver Museum of Nature and Science Reports publication.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Conserving Roadside Populations of Colorado’s Globally Imperiled Plants

At least 22 globally imperiled plants found along roadside areas in Colorado are at risk of
extinction. One of the biggest conservation issues for Colorado rare native plants is the lack of awareness of their existence and status. CNHP partnered with the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) and Colorado Natural Areas Program (CNAP) for a pilot project to explore how road maintenance activities might proceed while minimizing impacts to rare plants.  Avoiding or minimizing impacts to these species during road maintenance activities may help to effectively conserve their habitat.

Grand Mesa penstemon (Penstemon mensarum) photo by Lori Brummer

To learn more about this pilot project, take a look at the final report.

The species-specific Best Management Practices (BMPs) which complement this document are intended to help increase the awareness of these species for anyone involved in road maintenance activities. The desired outcome of this report and the associated recommended BMPs is to significantly reduce the impacts of road maintenance activities to ten globally imperiled plants on federal, state, and/or private land, while still addressing roadside safety concerns.

Rollins' twinpod (Physaria rollinsii) photo by Steve O'Kane

Species-specific Best Management Practices (BMPs):

BMPs for Arkansas Canyon stickleaf (Nuttallia densa)
BMPs for Bell’s twinpod (Physaria bellii)
BMPs for Brandegee wild buckwheat (Eriogonum brandegeei)
BMPs for Colorado green gentian (Frasera coloradensis)
BMPs for DeBeque milkvetch (Astragalus debequaeus)
BMPs for Good-neighbor bladderpod (Physaria vicina)
BMPs for Grand Mesa penstemon (Penstemon mensarum)
BMPs for Gunnison milkvetch (Astragalus anisus)
BMPs for Rabbit Ears gilia (Ipomopsis aggregata ssp. weberi)
BMPs for Rollins’ twinpod (Physaria rollinsii)

Celebrating National Bat Week in Steamboat Springs

Rob Schorr visited the Steamboat Springs and Hayden, Colorado to celebrate National Bat Week.  Rob gave a presentation at the Bud Werner Memorial Library in downtown Steamboat Springs on Halloween eve, then gave talks at the Hayden Valley Elementary School and the Hayden High School on Halloween.

Rob talking to Hayden High School science class about the importance of bats and
CNHP’s little brown bat conservation project in the Yampa Valley.
The bat-savvy crowd at the Werner Memorial knew much about bat ecology and  were interested to hear about the bat research CNHP was at the Yampa Valley Land Trust’s Rehder Ranch and The Nature Conservancy’s  Carpenter Ranch. The combined 3rd grade classes at Hayden Valley Elementary learned about bat flight, echolocation, and bat conservation, while the high school students were exposed to bat conservation and the use of statistics to answer bat conservation questions.

Rob and high school science teacher Sarah Blakeslee.