A team of 20 Campo School students armed sharp eyes and nets, will help scientists learn more about a rare Eastern Plains fish community in southeastern Colorado. A fish survey on Sikes Ranch, located in Southeastern Colorado, is scheduled on Friday, April 27 at 10 a.m.
The Nature Conservancy and Colorado Parks and Wildlife are partnering on this project with support of the Sikes family. “This project brings fun to science and it will give students an experience that will have a long-lasting impact,” said Chris Pague, lead scientist for the Conservancy of Colorado.
Working alongside a Colorado Parks and Wildlife biologist, the students will collect fish stunned by a mild electric shock, net them and collect data. Fish will also be collected using trap nets, dip nets and seines. Once the data are collected, the fish will be safely returned to the stream.
“Without the efforts of landowners like the Sikes, Coloradans would not enjoy the remarkable wildlife heritage we have today," said District Wildlife Manager Aaron Bartleson of Springfield. “This research will paint a clear picture of how amphibians and fish are doing in this area. We can use this data to work with the Sikes family and the Conservancy to help protect this important habitat.”
Management goals could include protecting portions of the water with fences and managing grazing to ensure water is delivered to livestock while protecting the vegetation and stream banks.
“This is a very exciting project on a unique piece of property with amazing pools and streams,” added Pague. “Some of the fish and plants found here are not found anywhere else in the state.”
Another layer of the partnership between the Conservancy and Colorado Parks and Wildlife will protect the Sikes Ranch and provide recreation for Coloradoans. The Nature Conservancy will place a conservation easement on 7,100 acres of the ranch, which will help support the family’s bottom line while preventing future development. Once that’s completed, Colorado Parks and Wildlife will place a public access easement on the land which means people can hike to observe wildlife and hunt in the area.
“We’re thrilled we can provide this opportunity to connect people with the landscape,” added Bartleson “Some of life's best memories are made outdoors.”
Date and time
Friday, April 27 from 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Sikes Ranch: 1425 County Road Q, Pritchett, CO
Visuals and interview opportunities
Biologist stunning fish for students to net and collect data; Interviews with students & scientists
Tracey Stone at 602-738-1586 or email@example.com
About Sikes Ranch:
The 7,100-acre Sikes Ranch is located in Southeastern Colorado between Pritchett and Kim. This property consists of shortgrass prairie, riparian woodlands, rocky outcrops, shrublands, marshes and an Eastern Plains stream. The ranch contains the headwaters of the East Fork of Carrizo Creek, providing critical and unique riverside corridors for migrating waterfowl and amphibians as well as native prairie fishes. The property also has three crop circles irrigated from well water that provide feeding areas for mule deer and white-tailed deer as well as several species of birds including quail and lesser prairie chicken.
About The Nature Conservancy
The Nature e Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. To date, the Conservancy and its more than one million members have helped protect 130 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org/Colorado.
About Colorado Parks and Wildlife
The mission of Colorado Parks and Wildlife is to perpetuate the wildlife resources of the state, to provide a quality state park system and outdoor recreation opportunities that educate and inspire current and future generations to serve as active stewards of Colorado’s natural resources. The agency manages 43 state parks, more than 330 state wildlife areas and 960 species of fish and wildlife across Colorado.
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org.
The Nature Conservancy