Ever heard of a white-tailed ptarmigan?
This bird lives at or above the treeline in the Trail Ridge Road area of Rocky Mountain National Park. And over the next few months, it will be the intense focus of ecology graduate student Greg Wann as he looks to connect the dots between climate change and its impact on the ptarmigan and other alpine animals.
Having recently been awarded the Leslie Fidel Bailey Fellowship from the Rocky Mountain Nature Association, Wann will compare his data â€“â€“ a study of the bird in its Rocky Mountain National Park habitat â€“â€“ to a long-term study of the bird conducted by the Colorado Division of Wildlife in the park from 1966 to 2000, according to a CSU press release.
Wann will use the same capture, tag and documentation methods as the Colorado Division of Wildlife used in its study to gather white-tailed ptarmigans at elevations of 11,000 to 17,000 feet.
Because comprehensive data sets of alpine species are rare, according to the release, Wannâ€™s study will provide a unique opportunity to track how climate change affects alpine animals.