Eastern Colorado Habitat Tour

On July 7, Pheasants Forever, Colorado Wildlife Biologists, and Colorado Parks and Wildlife conducted a tour for PF Chapters and CPW staff. The tour occurred in eastern Colorado and visited several Corners for Conservation projects and a buffered playa wetland project. These sites were previously farmed and are now enrolled in high-quality habitats for upland and grassland birds, deer, wetland-dependent wildlife, and pollinators. All acres enrolled in these programs are enrolled in the Walk-in Access program, thus coupling habitat conservation with public access.

This tour highlighted the importance of both the 4 Corners and the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service EQIP projects. These are critical for many forms of wildlife on the eastern plains. One only needed to listen to hear the insects and the songbirds making the habitat their home. I highly recommend visiting a PF & CPW project and seeing for oneself. 

Of importance to all of us is the survival of pheasant and quail in these habitats. It might be a couple of years before good years like this one produces plentiful bird populations. But without habitat, it will not occur at all. 

A special thank you to Michael and Bob for organizing the tour.

Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza

Highly pathogenic avian influenza virus was confirmed in wild geese in Northeastern Colorado on March 24, 2022. Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) is working with the Colorado Department of Agriculture, the United States Department of Agriculture, and other agencies to monitor and respond to additional cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza.

What is Avian Influenza?
Avian influenza is an infectious disease of birds caused by a group of influenza viruses. These viruses naturally circulate in wild birds, such as waterfowl and shorebirds, which can carry the virus without showing any signs of disease. There are many strains of avian influenza, which are classified into two categories: low pathogenic (LPAI) strains which typically cause little or no clinical signs in domestic poultry, and highly pathogenic (HPAI) strains which can cause severe disease and potentially high mortality in domestic poultry.

Does Avian Influenza cause disease in wild birds?
Most wild birds that are infected with avian influenza viruses do not show signs of disease. However, HPAI strains can occasionally cause disease in some wildlife species including swans, diving ducks, gulls, geese, grebes, raptors, vultures, cranes and terns. In these birds, typical symptoms include swimming in circles, head tilt and lack of coordination. Game bird species such as turkeys, grouse, and quail may also be susceptible to HPAI with signs more similar to poultry such as swelling of the head, diarrhea, moving slowly, ruffled feathers, respiratory signs, and not eating. Some affected wild birds are found dead.

Click here to read more from Colorado Parks & Wildlife