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Rattlesnake Tracking Project Intended To Help Hikers Be More Safe

By Jennifer Brice

GOLDEN, Colo. (CBS4) - If you hit the trails at North Table Mountain in Jefferson County, you may spot a few snake researchers roaming around with you. The folks at Adaptive Environmental Services are collaborating with Jefferson County Open Space to study the rattlesnakes.

rattlesnake tracking
(credit: CBS)

Joseph Ehrenberger with Adaptation Environmental Services says the goal of the research is safety.

"When visitors use North Table Mountain or any other space on the Front Range, that they are aware what good rattlesnake safety is for themselves as well as their dogs," Ehrenberger said.


Ehrenberger and his partner Brent Schulze are doing that by catching 20 rattlesnakes. Small transmitters are then surgically implanted into the body of the snake.

So far, 13 of the reptiles have the microchips, says Schulze.

rattlesnake generic
(credit: CBS)

"Then we go out three times a week and we follow the animals around to see where they are going, when they're leaving, their hibernating spots in the spring and when they're going back in the fall."

They goal of the $10,000 research grant backing the project is to learn the behaviors of the prairie rattlesnakes, so trailgoers can be more safe.

Brent Schulze
Brent Schulze (credit: CBS)

The study will last through August, says Schulze.

"We will then surgically remove the transmitters that we put in this year and let them go on and be snakes again."

Jennifer Brice is a reporter with CBS4 focusing on crime and courts. Follow her on Facebook or on Twitter @CBS4Jenn.

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