04-25-19 CPW issues citation for illegal possession of wildlife to university professor, remains in support of study on West Nile Virus

CPW issues citation for illegal possession of wildlife to university professor, remains in support of study on West Nile Virus

FORT COLLINS, Colo. – Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials have closed an investigation looking into reports of illegal possession of wildlife by a university professor.

Dr. Gregory Ebel, professor in Colorado State University’s Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Pathology, was issued a citation for illegal possession of five crows and fined $208. He was also issued a warning on the other 32 crows held in possession that were being used for a study on West Nile Virus.

Dr. Ebel’s scientific collection license he received from the state in 2019 was suspended on April 22, concluding the investigation.

“Upon investigation, this case appears to be one of an administrative oversight, not an intentional violation,” said Area Wildlife Manager Ty Petersburg. “We are supportive of the academic research Colorado State is conducting with this human health and safety project.

“Given the violations that did take place, a citation was issued for the wrongdoing. Rules and regulations must be followed, but we will continue to work with CSU faculty to obtain the proper permit to allow this important research to continue.”

Dr. Ebel, in 2018, did not apply for a scientific collection permit with the state to possess animals. That came in a year when he had collected crows to be used in his study, and where the violation occurred.

“We value our partnership with CSU and have enjoyed working with its research section and many academic departments over the years,” said Northeast Region Manager Mark Leslie. “We will continue to work with them on this project and others in years to come.”

Scientific collection licenses are issued out to an individual, not to a group or research section. Thus, another CSU faculty member could apply for a permit to allow this research project to continue.

CPW is an enterprise agency, relying primarily on license sales, state parks fees and registration fees to support its operations, including: 41 state parks and more than 350 wildlife areas covering approximately 900,000 acres, management of fishing and hunting, wildlife watching, camping, motorized and non-motorized trails, boating and outdoor education. CPW’s work contributes approximately $6 billion in total economic impact annually throughout Colorado.

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