Niwot Ridge Fauna
Animal life inhabiting Niwot Ridge ranges from arthropods to birds and mammals. A variety of bird species utilize the habitats within the LTER ranging from year-round residents like the white-tailed ptarmigan (Lagopus leucura), to more seasonal summer residents like the American pipet (Anthus rubescens), horned lark (Eremophila alpestris), black-capped chickadees (Poecile atricapillus) and white-crowned sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys). Of the 31 species of mammals observed on the Ridge, approximately 20 are herbivores, and of these, 12 are small herbivores, ranging in size from mice and voles to marmots. The large herbivorous mammals found at Niwot Ridge include elk (Cervus canadensis), moose (Alces alces), and mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus). Omnivorous and carnivorous species include the American marten (Martes americana), mountain lion (Felis concolor), bobcat (Felis rufus), and black bear (Ursus americanus). The snowshoe hare (Lepus americanus) and porcupine (Erithizon dorsatum) are transient species. Aquatic environments are most commonly populated with a variety of zooplankton, macro-invertebrates, some species of trout.