The Colorado Critter Challenge

Yellow-bellied Marmot, Rocky Mountain National Park

I would like to make a somewhat formal announcement of my latest photography project. I’m nicknaming it the Colorado Critter Challenge. I wanted to do something to share the diversity of wildlife found in our state and that also to challenge and expand my skills as a wildlife photographer.

I am endeavoring to observe and photograph every species of mammal native to Colorado – in the wild and on Colorado soil. That’s the basic idea, anyway.

I am going to lay down a couple of caveats:

First, I’m skipping over the mice, rats, and bats. I don’t want to get hantavirus or rabies and even the expects can’t decide what delineates a distinct species (Preble’s Jumping Mouse, anyone?).

Second, some of these critters are going to be nearly impossible to photograph in the wild in the state of Colorado. Species such as the grizzly bear, wolverine, and wolf, long ago considered extirpated (locally extinct). Odds are that I will not find them but this is about the journey just as much as the destination. We’ll go looking for them and learn what we can along the way.

I’ve taken my list from the book Mammals of Colorado by David M. Armstrong, James P. Fitzgerald, and Carron A. Meaney, the definitive text of it’s kind. In total my list contains 70 species.

I hope you’ll join me on my quest and follow me here on my blog. In my next post I’ll be introducing the official species list for my project.

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