Environment

Poisoned eagles, and new trout species, discovered in nearby Colorado

By Cody Hooks
chooks@taosnews.com
Posted 9/13/18

Just north of the county and state border, the Colorado Parks and Wildlife has news, good and bad.

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Environment

Poisoned eagles, and new trout species, discovered in nearby Colorado

Posted

Just north of the county and state border, the Colorado Parks and Wildlife has news, good and bad.

A Río Grande County rancher has pleaded guilty to 10 misdemeanors for poisoning wildlife, according to Joe Lewandowski, a spokesperson for the department. John L. Divine was responsible for the death of five bald eagles in the San Luis Valley as well a coyote, fox and numerous magpies, crows and ravens. Divine put out poison in two locations in early 2017 "because he claimed coyotes were killing his sheep," according to the press release.

Some of the dead animals were sent to a federal wildlife lab for testing, where it was determined Furadan, a banned pesticide, was the cause of death.

On the other hand, the Colorado Parks and Wildlife biologists have discovered a distinct genetic lineage of the Colorado River cutthroat trout that was thought to be extinct. In the area around Durango, the biologists have found eight populations of this trout in the San Juan River Basin.

"Anyone who just looked at these fish would have a difficult time telling them apart from any other cutthroat, but this is a significant find," said Jim White, aquatic biologist for the department. "It's a great conservation effort and a great conservation story."

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