Catalyzing Human Behavior in Support of Monitoring Recreation Impacts on Wildlife
Surprising successes have been achieved in the first year of a pilot project examining how humans, lynx and wolverine use winter recreation areas. This year, hundreds of winter recreationists in Colorado and Idaho agreed to carry Rocky Mountain Research Station supplied and monitored GPS units to track their movements. These movements were mapped along with GPS coordinates taken from collars worn by lynx and wolverines, creating a unique set of spatial and temporal data that will help tell the story of how lynx and wolverine respond to people recreating in their habitat. As this research progresses, we hope to find whether these animals avoid recreation areas all together, or maybe during certain times of day when use is the highest, or if they shift their habitat use to avoid humans. This project uniquely collects the same data across the same geographic scale and uses the same technology for both humans and animals on the same landscape. With this information, winter recreation specialists and wildlife biologists will be able to inform the development management actions that can benefit both the wildlife and the recreationists.