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January Evening Programs At Rocky Mountain National Park

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Saturday, January 3, 7:00 p.m.-Extreme Alaska: Denali National Park. This Alaskan park is home to the tallest mountain in North America and over two million acres of wilderness. Altitude defines which wild conditions and creatures dominate. Join a National Geographic crew during this 50 minute film, as they trek low and high to experience big game deep in the taiga forest, beautiful subarctic vistas of the tundra, and the challenge of ascending to the top of North America.

Saturday, January 10, 7:00 p.m. – Reintroduction of Boreal Toads in Rocky Mountain National Park. The Boreal toad, Bufo boreas, population in the park is “at risk” because of a precipitous population decline since 1996.  Although unlikely, extirpation of the boreal toad from Rocky Mountain National Park is possible. The boreal toad has been on Colorado’s endangered species list since November 1993, and on the federal government’s “warranted but precluded” list since March 1995. Currently the park, in cooperation with the Colorado Division of Wildlife and the USGS Biological Resources Division, is actively involved in a recovery program for the Boreal Toad and a population study of all other amphibians. Join Dr. Erin Muths, Zoologist with the U.S. Geological Survey in Fort Collins, for a look at the sensitive Boreal Toad. Dr. Muths initiated a radio telemetry study of boreal toads and wood frogs in Rocky Mountain National Park.  Her research has provided new insight into the struggling Boreal Toad populations in the park.

Dr. Muths is responsible for the southern Rocky Mountain Region for Department of the Interior Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative. This work includes collection of capture-recapture data, habitat assessments, auditory and automated surveys for several species of amphibians, data analyses and oversight of seasonal technicians. Also management of laboratory experiments including capture, primary data collection and maintenance of experimental boreal toad tadpoles and metamorphs. Erin Muths  received her Bachelor of Science in Wildlife Ecology-Natural Sciences from the University of Wisconsin, Master of Science in Biology-Systematics and Ecology from Kansas State University and her PHD from the University of Queensland, Australia. Dr. Muths has been active in several organizations including Earthwatch Australia, Smithsonian Institution, National Zoological Park, and Assembly Committee on Environmental Resources.

All evening programs are on Saturdays at 7:00 p.m. at the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center in Rocky Mountain National Park.  They are free and open to the public. For more information about Rocky Mountain National Park, please call the park’s information office at (970) 586-1206.

© 2014 Estes Park News, Inc

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