“Lynx: Shadows of the Forest,” a new film released Wednesday by Colorado Parks and Wildlife showcases Canada lynx in Colorado’s high-elevation wilderness.
The film was published on CPW’s YouTube, Facebook and Instagram channels. According to a CPW news release, it tells the story of lynx in Colorado and how the big-footed felines represent wild values and the natural world. The film was produced by Sean Ender of Peak to Creek Films.
Before the reintroduction of lynx to Colorado in 1999, no other state or Canadian province had completed a successful lynx reintroduction.
The first two lynx reintroduced to the state, a 3-year-old called No.7 and a 2-year-old called No. 9, were released into the wild on Feb. 3, 1999, in the Weminuche Wilderness. Before the reintroduction, the last confirmed sighting of a lynx in Colorado was near Vail in 1973.
Colorado declared the lynx reintroduction efforts a success in 2010. The film describes that history and the research and collaborative efforts taking place with the U.S. Forest Service to protect their habitats and study the species.
“As a scientist, we’re trained to spend our lives mired in details, trying to design the perfect sampling scheme or experiment, running some complicated analysis, and attempting to publish a paper in a prestigious scientific journal,” said Jake Ivan, Wildlife Research Scientist with CPW, in the release. “That is all well and good and serves an important purpose. What’s lost in that cycle is the story our research has to tell. In this video, Sean does a great job of capturing that story.”
Ender, owner of Peak to Creek films, captured collaborative work taking place between CPW and the USFS. The film also showcases some of the facilitating science behind the research.
“I really enjoyed learning about the complexities and multiple layers of science at work to keep lynx on the landscape in Colorado,” Ender said in the release. “When Jake first told me they can gather DNA from footprints in the snow I was shocked. Filming Doug tossing a giant snowball around to the point where he’s left holding a lynx track was fascinating.”