Wildlife



WildlifePagePika

American pika, the canary of climate change? (Ryan Bonneau Photography)

From the high alpine surrounding Telluride to the dry desert regions of southwest Colorado, our lands and rivers host an abundance of wildlife, including such endangered and threatened species as Canada lynx, Gunnison sage grouse, Gunnison prairie dog, American pika, Rocky Mountain big horn sheep, Colorado cutthroat trout, razorback sucker, Colorado pike minnow and humpback chub. Our land preservation and water quality improvement efforts seek to improve the habitat of these threatened populations and preserve diversity of wildlife.

Currents Projects and News
After joining with our conservation partners to successfully overturn the initial decision not to list the Gunnison sage grouse as endangered, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife has proposed to list the once-abundant bird as endangered. This decision created a deluge of opposition, and questionable science is emerging to show that the bird’s population is stable. The bird’s San Miguel County population decreased from over 400 in the mid 1990s to less than 100 in 2013. SMA is a part of the San Miguel Basin Sage Grouse Working Group that was formed in 2006 to protect the population and restore habitat for the bird. Although huge efforts have been made, the San Miguel Basin population is in danger of disappearing all together.

In September 2013, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced a proposal to revise the critical habitat designation for the Canada Lynx. They are proposing to remove all critical habitat from Colorado. We are working with our conservation partners on a response.

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