New Online Database Tracks Threats and Actions to Protect Colorado Wildlife | New

Climate change threatens the high mountain home of the Colorado pika. A lack of snow does not bode well for the lynx. Oil and gas development has overtaken the ancient land of the prairie chicken and the mountain plover. Urban development has overtaken that of the burrowing owl. Hikers and campers scare boreal toads, while rock climbers pose risks to cliff-nesting peregrine falcons. Meanwhile, the state bird, the larkspur, competes with “intensive agriculture”, among other concerns.

These are just a few takeaways from Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s new Species Conservation Dashboard, which lists threats to more than 350 life forms and more than 2,500 actions to help them in an ongoing state. evolution.

“Over the past few months, you’ve heard a lot about gray wolf restoration planning efforts, but that’s just one of the programs we coordinate in the Species Conservation Unit,” the supervisor said. of unity, David Klute, at a meeting of the CPW Commission this summer.

This was when the Dashboard for Species Conservation was introduced. The online database is intended to be an interactive way for people to track CPW’s progress, or lack thereof, towards protecting species previously outlined in the 2015 Wildlife Action Plan.

The plan is to be reviewed by 2025. In the meantime, officials and any concerned Coloradan can browse the dashboard to learn about threats and initiatives. They are forced to learn something.

Perhaps about the Eastern Black Rail, the bird that lost its marshy habitat along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts.

“The interior populations are therefore extremely large,” Klute said at the commission meeting, “and Colorado has the largest known interior population in North America.”

Although he said CPW is just beginning to learn more about the black rail in the state, the agency continues to monitor the Gunnison sage-grouse, a federally listed endangered species.

“About 100% of the global population of this species is found in Colorado,” Klute said. “So the vast majority of the responsibility for the conservation of this species falls on the land in Colorado.”

The new dashboard identifies specific threats and also acknowledges a lack of understanding.

For iconic and migrant sandhill cranes, the CPW lists a “need” for “better knowledge of breeding distribution.” There is a “lack of a dedicated funding source” for the endangered New Mexico jumping mouse. And there’s a hint of a necessary “plan of action” for wolverines; The CPW has suggested reviewing old reintroduction plans in the state.

The dashboard represents conservation successes. For example, at the commission meeting, Klute spoke about the re-emergence of the black-footed ferret on the plains. The dash tells a different story for reptiles in Colorado, he said.

“We have done little to directly understand and conserve reptiles,” he said. “A lot of future work and opportunities still exist.”