For Immediate Release: 10/12/05
Morgan Crowley, Director
Diego Villalobos, Assistant Director
CU Wildlife Initiative
720.365.0806 (Morgan’s Cell)
Director, Carnivore Protection Program
303.447.8655, Ext 1#
Boulder, CO. This Fall, the student-based CU Wildlife Initiative led efforts to distribute 1,500 educational flyers about wildlife in Boulder. CU Wildlife Initiative, student volunteers, Sinapu, and the Sierra Club passed out “bear aware” and mountain lion “co-existence” flyers to people’s doorsteps and at public events in Boulder County. The Sugarloaf community also printed the groups’ bear aware flyer in their newsletter.
“Our mission was two-fold,” said Morgan Crowley, Director of CU Wildlife Initiative. “We aimed to get students involved in local wildlife issues and we wanted to give people important informational tips about co-existing with black bears and mountain lions. An educated public will result in far fewer human-wildlife conflicts.”
“At this time of the year, black bears need to pack on enormous fat reserves,” said Wendy Keefover-Ring of Sinapu. “Garbage, bird food, dog food, and barbeque grills are attractive food sources for black bears, which have a keen sense of smell. Bruins need to eat abundant calories now, before they hibernate, if they are to make it through the winter.”
“Keeping bears out of garbage is important,” added Diego Villalobos, “because once they learn a food source, they’ll exploit it in the future, even if there are natural foods available. Also, mother bears must not teach their cubs bad habits, because if a bear is caught a second time getting into garbage, the Division of Wildlife may have to destroy that animal.”
The groups also distributed a companion flyer on living and recreating safely in lion country. The educational flyer highlights common sense tips, such as 1) planting native foliage around your home to avoid attracting deer or other prey into one’s neighborhood, which can attract mountain lions, 2) hiking in groups rather than solo, especially at dawn and dusk when lions are most active, and 3) hiking with dogs on a leash.
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