A film released Wednesday by Colorado Parks and Wildlife showcases the “Shadows of the Forest” in Colorado’s high-elevation wilderness – the Canada lynx.
The film was published on CPW’s YouTube, Facebook and Instagram channels, according to a news release from CPW. It tells the story of lynx in Colorado and how the big-footed felines are representatives of wild values and the natural world. The film was produced by Sean Ender of Peak to Creek films.
Before Colorado’s reintroduction of lynx starting back in 1999, no other state or Canadian province had completed a successful lynx reintroduction.
The film tells the story of Colorado’s reintroduction and efforts with the U.S. Forest Service to protect habitats and study the species.
“As a scientist, we’re trained to spend our lives mired in details, trying to design the perfect sampling scheme or experiment, running some complicated analysis, and attempting to publish a paper in a prestigious scientific journal,” said Jake Ivan, wildlife research scientist with CPW. “What’s lost in that cycle is the story our research has to tell.”
CPW manages and monitors lynx in Colorado, and the U.S. Forest Service provides habitat for lynx and their primary food source, snowshoe hares.
Ender, owner of Peak to Creek films, captured some of the collaborative work taking place between CPW and the USFS. The film also showcases some of the facilitating science behind the research.
“I really enjoyed learning about the complexities and multiple layers of science at work to keep lynx on the landscape in Colorado,” Ender said. “When Jake first told me they can gather DNA from footprints in the snow, I was shocked. Filming Doug tossing a giant snowball around to the point where he’s left holding a lynx track was fascinating. It’s really fun to capture moments like that in the field and share the cutting edge work CPW is doing to conserve a species they worked so hard to bring back.”
Thursday, a second film on lynx will also be published across the same channels. That one showcases exploratory movements lynx make across Colorado and beyond, and Ivan talks about the biology of the big-footed felines.