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Animals that live on or visit Centaur Mountain

I count 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.

Mountain Lion Cougar 25.jpg

There are a couple of reports of mountain lion sightings every year. This is our most dangerous predator and deserves respect and understanding.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cougar

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 slowly.
  • 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 upright.
  • 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 aggressively, throw 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!
Black Bear 01 Schwarzbär.jpg 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.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_black_bear

Elk

Rocky Mountain Bull Elk.jpgElk 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.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elk

Moose

Moose superior.jpgIn the past couple of years a solitary moose has been seen by the ponds at the lower end of Berry Bush.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moose

Deer

2012-mule-deer-male.jpgSmall groups of deer pass by frequently. They graze on some of the low shrubs and may also be attracted by human feeding.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mule_deer

Red Fox

Fox study 6.jpgThese 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 drainage culverts.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_fox

Raccoon

Raccoon climbing in tree - Cropped and color corrected.jpgA few years we have had "families" of these critters raid our bird feeder. We saw some in the winter of 2016.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raccoon

Porcupine Porcupine-BioDome.jpg

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,

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_American_porcupine

Stripped Skunk

Striped Skunk (Mephitis mephitis) DSC 0030.jpgWe have never seen on in CE but our noses have told us that one or more have passed by our house on several evenings.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Striped_skunk

American Red Squirrel

Tamiasciurus hudsonicus CT.jpgAlso 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.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_red_squirrel

Aberts

Squirrel

Aberts squirrel.jpgOften seen at lower elevations, such as along Cragmont Rd.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abert%27s_squirrel

Fox Squirrel Sciurus niger (on fence).jpg

The largest of the squirrels we  have seen.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fox_squirrel

Bushy tailed wood rat Neotoma cinerea.jpg

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.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bushy-tailed_woodrat

Long tailed vole Long-tailed vole.jpg

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.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Long-tailed_vole

Is it a chipmunk or a ground squirrel An often asked question on Centaur Mountain.
Colorado Chipmunk Colorado chipmunk.jpg

Throughout this section I have used Wikipedia for my reference. I continue with the analysis of chipmunks.

"This western 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."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colorado_chipmunk

Uinta Chipmunk Streifenhörnchen Zion.jpg

"Three 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."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uinta_chipmunk

Least Chipmunk Tamias minimus.jpg

'It 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)."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Least_chipmunk

  Goldmantelziesel.jpg

"A 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 its chipmunk-like stripes and coloration, but unlike a chipmunk, it lacks any facial stripes."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden-mantled_ground_squirrel

© Charlie Neppell