National Park

Wildlife at home in Mesa Verde National Park – The Journal

A fox looks at a surveillance camera at the Spring House site in Mesa Verde National Park. (Courtesy of Mesa Verde National Park)

Park cameras capture a variety of species in and around ancient dwellings

When tourists leave the cliff houses of Mesa Verde National Park, wildlife wanders around for a photo opportunity.

Cameras monitor the condition of the old dwellings and watch for looting and human intrusions.

But when wildlife shows up and triggers the cameras, it’s a “highlight of the monitoring program — far better than seeing people illegally entering the sites,” park archaeologist Kay Barnett said in an email. mail.

Here are some favorites over the years. They include a black bear, a bobcat, foxes, and a ringtail cat, which is part of the raccoon family.

Squeaks, a 2-year-old cougar who has lived in the park since August 2020, is also featured on a game cam and appears to be doing well. He made headlines after a 558-mile trip from central New Mexico recorded on a GPS collar. The hike included crossing the Navajo Reservoir twice.

A group of foxes investigate something at Spring House in Mesa Verde National Park. (Courtesy of Mesa Verde National Park)

A black bear visited Spring House in 2016 in Mesa Verde National Park. (Courtesy of Mesa Verde National Park)

The nocturnal ringtail cat hangs out at Jug House in Mesa Verde National Park. The ringtail is part of the raccoon family. (Courtesy of Mesa Verde National Park)

Spruce Tree House has been closed to the public for safety reasons, but wildlife can come and go as they please, like this bobcat on March 30. (Courtesy of Mesa Verde National Park)

A 2-year-old cougar nicknamed Squeaks resides in Mesa Verde State Park and is seen here in this July 2021 photo. He migrated to the park in August 2020 after traveling 558 miles from Pueblo de Santa Ana in central New Mexico. (Courtesy of Santa Ana Department of Natural Resources Pueblo)

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