14 animals that we have
seen, or there have been sightings - on Centaur Mountain.
This does not include at least 2 varieties of Chipmunks and a
Ground Squirrel for a total of about 17.
Input always welcome.
There are a
couple of reports of mountain lion sightings every year. This is
our most dangerous predator and deserves respect and
http://cpw.state.co.us/lions (This page also has
an informative video.)
From Colorado Parks and Wildlife:
Go in groups when
you walk or hike in mountain lion country, and make plenty
of noise to reduce your chances of surprising a lion. A
sturdy walking stick is a good idea; it can be used to ward
off a lion. Make sure children are close to you and within
your sight at all times. Talk with children about lions and
teach them what to do if they meet one.
Do not approach a
lion, especially one that is feeding or with kittens. Most
mountain lions will try to avoid a confrontation. Give them
a way to escape.
Stay calm when
you come upon a lion. Talk calmly and firmly to it. Move
Stop or back away slowly,
if you can do it safely. Running may stimulate a lion's
instinct to chase and attack. Face the lion and stand
Do all you can to appear
larger. Raise your arms. Open your jacket if
you're wearing one. If you have small children with you,
protect them by picking them up so they won't panic and run.
- If the lion behaves
stones, branches or whatever you can get your
hands on without crouching down or turning your back. Wave
your arms slowly and speak firmly. What you want to do is
convince the lion you are not prey and that you may in fact
be a danger to the lion.
Fight back if
a lion attacks you. Lions have been driven away by prey that
fights back. People have fought back with rocks, sticks,
caps or jackets, garden tools and their bare hands
successfully. Remain standing or try to get back up!
American black bears can be distinguished from brown bears by
their smaller size, their less concave profiles, their shorter
claws and the lack of a shoulder hump
We see a bear at
our house almost every year. Sometimes with cubs and this is
when they are most dangerous. It is a good idea to keep garbage
secured until just before pick-up and keep garage doors closed.
are heard animals and are usually seen in groups. In addition
they graze off grass and other low growing food and are not
usually seen in our area. However, one or two pass by and there
is some suspicion that some residents put out food or other
attractants to elk and deer. Not only is this against the law,
but it puts in danger all neighborhood children and dogs as the
elk and deer attract mountain lions.
the past couple of years a solitary moose has been seen by the
ponds at the lower end of Berry Bush.
groups of deer pass by frequently. They graze on some of the low
shrubs and may also be attracted by human feeding.
animals seem to establish a "range" of several parcels and have
as many as 3 kits every spring. Look for them to make homes in
few years we have had "families" of these critters raid our bird
feeder. We saw some in the winter of 2016.
We saw one porcupine going in and out of a drainage culvert on a
side road from Cragmont Road about halfway between Berry Bush
and Rt. 73,
have never seen on in CE but our noses have told us that one or
more have passed by our house on several evenings.
|American Red Squirrel
know as the pine nut squirrel. The most common squirrel on CM
and also the most aggressive. Perhaps this is why we don't see
some of the other types.
seen at lower elevations, such as along Cragmont Rd.
The largest of the squirrels we have seen.
|Bushy tailed wood rat
This wee beastie will do a lot of damage to your garden. We do
not believe that they are protected but the quandary was how to
eliminate them without killing chipmunks and ground squirrels.
George Nelson came up what we believe to be a solution. Wood
rats climb, chipmunks and ground squirrels don't. We put the
bait up somewhere they frequent and this seems to have
eliminated this problem.
|Long tailed vole
There is a low-growing evergreen that grows throughout the area
in open areas and is quite attractive. Unfortunately its bark is
attractive to these beasts. They "ring" a branch and this causes
it to die. We hired an exterminator but the jury is out on how
to control these critters.
Is it a
chipmunk or a ground squirrel An often asked question on Centaur
Throughout this section I have used Wikipedia for my reference.
I continue with the analysis of chipmunks.
American dweller is the largest of the three species of
chipmunks found in the Colorado Front Range (which also include
the Least Chipmunk and the Uinta Chipmunk)... Chipmunks are
distinguished from ground squirrels in that their faces have a
stripe going across under the eye."
wide, distinct dark blackish-brown stripes run down the back,
separated and surrounded by four paler stripes of pale grey to
white fur. Also, three dark and three pale stripes are on each
side of the face."
is the smallest species of chipmunk,
measuring about 15.7–25 cm (6.2–9.8 in) in total length with a
weight of 25–66 g (0.88–2.33 oz)."
typical adult ranges from 23 to 30 cm (9.1 to 11.8 in) in
length. The golden-mantled ground squirrel can be identified by
stripes and coloration, but unlike a chipmunk, it lacks any