Rocky Mountain Arsenal

National Wildlife Refuge - Colorado

The Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge is located adjacent to Commerce City, Colorado. The refuge is on the grounds of the former Rocky Mountain Arsenal, a United States Army chemical weapons manufacturing facility. More than 330 species of wildlife inhabit the refuge, including raptors, deer, raccoons, coyotes, white pelicans, black-footed ferrets, black-tailed prairie dogs, and bison.

maps

Trails Map of Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Colorado. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).Rocky Mountain Arsenal - Trails Map

Trails Map of Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Colorado. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).

brochures

Interpretive Wildlife Drive at Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Colorado. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).Rocky Mountain Arsenal - Interpretive Wildlife Drive

Interpretive Wildlife Drive at Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Colorado. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).

Birds at Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Colorado. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).Rocky Mountain Arsenal - Birds

Birds at Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Colorado. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).

Bisons at Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Colorado. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).Rocky Mountain Arsenal - Bisons

Bisons at Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Colorado. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).

Rocky Mountain Arsenal NWR https://www.fws.gov/refuge/rocky_mountain_arsenal/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rocky_Mountain_Arsenal_National_Wildlife_Refuge The Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge is located adjacent to Commerce City, Colorado. The refuge is on the grounds of the former Rocky Mountain Arsenal, a United States Army chemical weapons manufacturing facility. More than 330 species of wildlife inhabit the refuge, including raptors, deer, raccoons, coyotes, white pelicans, black-footed ferrets, black-tailed prairie dogs, and bison.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge Interpretive Wildlife Drive Welcome This goose, designed by J.N. “Ding” Darling, is the symbol of the National Wildlife Refuge System. Welcome to Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge, where more than 330 species of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish thrive. This 15,000-acre expanse of shortgrass and mixed-grass prairie is one of the largest urban refuges in the country and is a place where wildlife comes first. The refuge has a rich and varied history, which includes the transition from farmland to a U.S. Army wartime and chemical munitions manufacturing site to a wildlife sanctuary. This special place offers many ways to reconnect with nature: a self-guided Wildlife Drive, nature programs, environmental education for students, wildlife viewing tours, and seasonal catch-and-release fishing (the first Saturday in April through November 30), and more than 10 miles of easy hiking trails. The Refuge was a former U.S. Army chemical munitions manufacturing site that underwent a safe and comprehensive environmental cleanup. The Environmental Protection Agency, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, and Tri-County Health Department oversaw and approved the cleanup. Portions of the Wildlife Drive go through or near sites that were part of the environmental cleanup. Extensive cleanup was conducted to transition this site to a national wildlife refuge and the cleanup is protective of people and wildlife. Some areas remain under the management of the U.S. Army for the protection of remedy facilities and are closed to visitors. Please observe all posted signs. About the Wildlife Drive We invite you to learn about the Refuge and its wildlife by touring the 11-mile Wildlife Drive, which takes between 45 minutes to one hour to complete. The interpretive information in this brochure corresponds with the mile markers along the Wildlife Drive. One-way travel begins after Mile Marker 2, and ends just before Mile Marker 10. The Wildlife Drive is open yearround from sunrise to sunset, with the exception of Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day. The speed limit is 30 miles per hour on all Refuge roads. Follow the car and directional arrow symbols, stay on paved roads, and observe all posted signs such as “Stay in Vehicle” or “Area Closed” signs. Be sure to watch for pedestrians at hiking trail crossings. Along the Drive you may see all kinds of wildlife including bison, deer, coyotes, songbirds, waterfowl, and hawks. Pull off to the shoulder when stopping to view wildlife. To see more wildlife, we recommend you use your vehicle as a viewing blind. Practice good wildlife viewing ethics by remembering that if your behavior is affecting wildlife, then you are too close, and consider those who follow you want to see wildlife too. For your safety, remain in your vehicle when driving through the bison pastures, which are marked with signs and cattle guard crossings. Bison are unpredictable animals and need lots of space, especially during calving season, which is May through September. Along the Drive To start the Drive, leave the Visitor Center and turn east on 64th Avenue. Watch for mule deer, songbirds, and black-tailed prairie dogs as you drive through the short-grass prairie. At the stop sign, continue east to start the Wildlife Drive. Ahead on your left, is Lake Ladora, which has a 1.8-mile loop trail around it. Watch for red-winged blackbirds, geese, gulls, doublecrested cormorants, and migrating waterfowl such as northern shovelers, gadwalls, mallards, and ringedneck ducks. Showy milkweed, with its bright pink flowers, dot the lakes’ edge throughout the summer. Milkweed is the only plant Monarch butterflies will lay eggs on and is the primary food source for the caterpillars. Milkweed also provides important nectar for butterflies and bees. Catch-and-release fishing is permitted at Lakes Ladora and Mary from the first Saturday in April through November 30 on Tuesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays. For more information, please see the Refuge’s fishing rules and regulations on the website. Just past the fence line, Lower Derby Lake is to your left and a parking lot is on your right. This is the Refuge’s largest lake at 72 acres. The viewing platform is a great spot to see migrating and seasonal waterfowl such as American white pelicans, shorebirds, blue herons, and cormorants 1 in the spring and summer. In the winter, bald eagles use the cottonwood trees for nighttime roosting. During the daytime they hunt for fish on the icy lake. Notice the trees in a row to your right as you drive along the road. More than 180 families grew crops and raised their families on this land. They planted a variety of trees to serve as windbreaks for their homes. Look closely and you may spot mule or white-tailed deer lying in the shade, a coyote in the distance, or songbirds in the tree tops. Follow the car a
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Rocky Mountain   Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge Bird List Welcome The Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) is one of the largest urban refuges in the country. This Refuge provides important feeding and resting grounds for resident and migratory birds. The Refuge was designated as a Colorado State Important Bird Area by the National Audubon Society in 2008. When to Visit The Refuge offers visitors unique opportunities to view birds and other wildlife. Dawn and dusk are the best times of day to observe birds, and spring and fall are the best seasons. However, many birds are present year-round on the Refuge. Colorful songbirds pass through in the spring. Shorebirds stop during their migrations in spring and fall. In winter, numerous bald eagles roost at the Refuge and long-eared owls gather in thickets. Waterfowl can be seen during all seasons on the Refuge’s lakes. About the List This list of 273 birds follows the organization of the American Ornithologists’ Union’s Seventh Edition Checklist, including changes through the 55th Supplement. The information contained in this checklist is based on field data collected between 1989 and 2014 by the Denver Audubon Society, Denver Field Ornithologists, Refuge staff and visiting birders. Seasons Since many birds are migratory, their seasonal occurrence and relative abundance are noted as follows: Sp S F W Seasonal Abundance: Other Codes Spring (March – May) Summer (June – August) Fall (September – November) Winter (December – February) c common – certain to be seen in suitable habitat u uncommon – present, but not certain to be seen r rare – seen at intervals of 2 - 5 years Ø not present – not seen on the Refuge ● breeds on the Refuge Common Bird Name Ducks, Geese and Swans Greater White-fronted Goose Snow Goose Ross's Goose Cackling Goose •Canada Goose Trumpeter Swan •Wood Duck Gadwall Eurasian Wigeon American Wigeon •Mallard •Blue-winged Teal Cinnamon Teal •Northern Shoveler •Northern Pintail Green-winged Teal Canvasback •Redhead Ring-necked Duck Greater Scaup Lesser Scaup Surf Scoter White-winged Scoter Black Scoter Bufflehead Hooded Merganser Common Merganser Red-breasted Merganser Common Goldeneye •Ruddy Duck Loons Pacific Loon Common Loon Grebes •Pied-billed Grebe Horned Grebe Red-necked Grebe Eared Grebe Western Grebe Clark's Grebe SP S r r Ø Ø Ø u c u c Ø Ø u c u u Ø Ø c c c c c c c c c c r c r u c c u u u u r u u Ø Ø u Ø Ø Ø Ø Ø c u c r c c Ø Ø Ø r r c r r u c r u r Ø r u c F W r r r u c r u c r c c c u c c c c c c r u r r r c u c r c c r u r c c r r c r r Ø c c Ø Ø c c c c c c Ø c Ø Ø Ø u c c r c u Ø Ø Ø c r u Ø Ø Ø u u r u u r Ø Ø r Ø Common Bird Name Pelicans American White Pelican Cormorants Double-crested Cormorant Bitterns, Herons and Egrets American Bittern •Great Blue Heron Great Egret Snowy Egret Little Blue Heron Tricolored Heron Cattle Egret Green Heron Black-crowned Night-Heron Ibises and Spoonbills White-faced Ibis New World Vultures Turkey Vulture Osprey Osprey Hawks, Kites and Eagles •Bald Eagle •Northern Harrier Sharp-shinned Hawk Cooper's Hawk Northern Goshawk Broad-winged Hawk •Swainson's Hawk •Red-tailed Hawk Ferruginous Hawk Rough-legged Hawk Golden Eagle Rails, Gallinules and Coots •Virginia Rail Sora •American Coot Cranes Sandhill Crane Stilts and Avocets Black-necked Stilt •American Avocet SP S F W c c c r c c c Ø r c r u r r r r u Ø r c r c Ø c r c r Ø Ø Ø Ø Ø r Ø u r r u c u u Ø u r u Ø u r u Ø c u u u r r c c u u u c u r r c u u u c c u u Ø Ø Ø Ø Ø Ø c c r Ø u c c c u u u u c r u c u u c r Ø r Ø u r r c r c Ø Ø u Ø Ø Ø r Ø Ø Ø Ø c c u u c Common Bird Name Plovers Black-bellied Plover American Golden-Plover Snowy Plover Semipalmated Plover •Killdeer Mountain Plover Sandpipers and Phalaropes •Spotted Sandpiper Solitary Sandpiper Greater Yellowlegs Willet Lesser Yellowlegs Upland Sandpiper Whimbrel Long-billed Curlew Marbled Godwit Stilt Sandpiper Sanderling Baird's Sandpiper Least Sandpiper White-rumped Sandpiper Pectoral Sandpiper Semipalmated Sandpiper Western Sandpiper Long-billed Dowitcher Wilson's Snipe Wilson's Phalarope Red-necked Phalarope Gulls and Terns Sabine's Gull Bonaparte's Gull Franklin's Gull Ring-billed Gull California Gull Herring Gull Thayer's Gull Caspian Tern Black Tern Common Tern Forster's Tern SP S F W r Ø Ø r r Ø Ø r r c r Ø Ø Ø Ø Ø Ø c c r Ø u u u u u r r u r r r u u u u r u r u u u r u Ø Ø Ø Ø Ø Ø r Ø Ø Ø Ø Ø Ø r Ø Ø Ø Ø Ø Ø u r r Ø Ø u r r r r u u c r Ø Ø Ø Ø Ø Ø r u u u r u u u r Ø Ø Ø Ø Ø r r u c u u Ø r u c u r Ø Ø Ø Ø r r Ø Ø r Ø Ø Ø r r r Ø Ø Ø Ø Ø Ø c r Ø r Ø Ø Ø Ø Ø Ø Ø r Ø Ø Ø Ø c Ø u r Ø Common Bird Name Pigeons and Doves •Rock Pigeon (introduced) •Eurasian Collared-Dove (introduced) White-winged Dove •Mourning Dove Cu
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service American Bison at Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge - July 2018 Overview Since reintroducing the American bison (Bison bison) in 2007, the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge (Refuge) has played an important role in the conservation of this iconic prairie species. Characteristics Bison have dark brown fur and horns that can grow to 2 feet in length. They have a hump on their back and stand between 5 and 6.5 feet tall at the shoulder. Bison are the heaviest land animals in North America, with bulls (males) weighing up to 2,000 pounds and cows (females) weighing up to 1,200 pounds. They usually live between 12 and 20 years and are often referred to as buffalo, though this name is incorrect. True buffalo are native to Africa and Asia. Bison are fast and agile animals. They can reach speeds of up to 35 miles per hour and jump more than 5 feet high. These abilities, combined with their massive size and horns, make them formidable opponents to predators. Grizzly bears and wolves are predators of bison, although these species are not found at the Refuge. faster and returning nutrients to the soil. Bison also push seeds into the soil with their hooves, encouraging new grasses to grow. Social Life Cows, juvenile bulls, and calves (young bison) live together while mature bulls remain alone or form small bachelor herds throughout most of the year. Bulls only join the larger herd during the rut (mating season), which peaks in July and August. Bulls bellow at each other and fight using their heads or horns during the rut to establish dominance. Some bulls wallow (roll in dirt) to demonstrate their strength. Wallowing has the added benefit of removing molted fur, deterring flies, and creating low spots that serve as seasonal wetlands. After a pregnancy lasting 9 to 9.5 months, cows give birth to a reddish-brown calf weighing between 30 and 70 pounds. Calves can walk within an hour of birth and are fiercely protected by the entire herd. If calves are in danger, adult bison will form a circle around them. During calving season, Grazing please give the Bison eat between 15 and 30 pounds of grass each day animals extra and move continuously as they forage, sometimes walking distance with up to 20 miles to find enough food. Grazing bison help your vehicle. keep prairie plants healthy and diverse. They break up dead plants with their hooves, helping them to decompose Population Decline and Conservation An estimated 30 to 60 million bison once roamed North America until overhunting caused their population to dwindle to about 1,000 in the mid-1880s. As a result, the government and private landowners intervened. Punishments for poaching bison were strengthened and bison recovery efforts were initiated on the National Bison Range in Montana and other public lands. Due to these conservation measures, bison populations began to increase and there are now more than 500,000 animals in North America, the majority of which are privately owned. To promote the continued conservation of bison, the Department of the Interior launched the Bison Conservation Initiative in 2008. The goal of the initiative is to restore bison to their ecological and cultural role on appropriate landscapes by maintaining herds on public lands and controlling disease. The initiative seeks to ensure that bison are free of cattle genes and have high genetic diversity as well. Bison Recovery at the Refuge In support of the Department of the Interior’s bison conservation efforts, 16 bison were transferred from the National Bison Range to the Refuge in March 2007. The herd has since grown to more than 180 animals, largely as a result of calves being born at the Refuge. A small number of bison from other refuges were also added to the herd to ensure genetic diversity. Refuge staff will continue to expand the size of the bison enclosure until approximately two-thirds of the Refuge is bison pasture. As a result, the Refuge will be able to support about 200 bison. A roundup of the bison is conducted annually in the late fall or winter to ensure the health of the herd. Genetic information is collected by taking blood, fat, and tail hair samples and microchips are implanted in the calves at the base of their ear. Microchips are similar to barcodes on products at the grocery store. They individually identify the bison and retrieve information about the specific animal when they are scanned. Bison to be sent to other refuges are separated out during the roundup. Viewing Opportunities The bison herd at the Refuge may be viewed by taking the Wildlife Drive Auto Tour. While driving through the bison pasture, please remain in your vehicle as bison are large and unpredictable animals. Pull off the road completely if stopping to view these burly animals and observe posted 30 mph speed limit as bison and other wildlife may be crossing the road. Learn More To learn more about the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife R

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