Recognizing Colorado Endangered Species Week
May 10 through May 16, 2020 is Colorado Endangered Species Week. This week is dedicated to the mission of educating the public and working towards the protection of the over 300 plant and animal species that are at risk in Colorado.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) has statutory authority over many of Colorado’s abundant natural resources, including more than 960 native species of mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, amphibians, mollusks, and crustaceans. These resources require a strong plan to guide their management. And while CPW implements various conservation principles for proactive management, the State Wildlife Action Plan (SWAP) provides a blueprint for CPW and its numerous conservation partners.
The State Wildlife Action Plan outlines and prioritizes a wide range of Colorado’s conservation needs and allows CPW to stay consistent in their conservation efforts and in coordinating with other members of Colorado’s wildlife conservation community. While it is not a regulatory document, CPW is required to revisit and reformulate it every ten years in order to continue receiving federal State Wildlife Grants. These funds provide crucial support for several conservation projects.
What Is The State Wildlife Action Plan?
In Colorado’s State Wildlife Action Plan, Colorado Parks and Wildlife outlines which species and habitats are the most vulnerable. From there, they can determine the conservation actions that CPW and other Colorado organizations can take to address the primary threats.
The guiding principles of this strategy:
- Encourage and support conservation actions that address Colorado’s Species of Greatest Conservation Need.
- Manage for healthy habitats and ecosystems so that all species will benefit.
- Create a plan that will be flexible enough to incorporate new research findings and successful management innovations into conservation actions.
- Acknowledge the pivotal role that private landowners and local stakeholders play in conservation.
- Enhance, not replace, other planning efforts.
- Maintain an atmosphere of cooperation, participation, and commitment among wildlife managers, landowners, private and public land managers, and other stakeholders in development and implementation of conservation actions.
To qualify for the State Wildlife Grants, Colorado’s State Wildlife Action Plan needed to include elements such as distributions of wildlife species, descriptions of issues facing Colorado’s wildlife, conservation actions and monitoring plans. The document breaks down each Colorado species and habitat one at a time and discusses threats, information needs and conservation actions.
Visit the Conservation Section of the Colorado Parks and Wildlife website to learn more about the challenges and opportunities and the habitats involved in Colorado’s State Wildlife Action Plan.
Who Is Involved?
Colorado Parks and Wildlife formulated Colorado’s State Wildlife Action Plan in cooperation with partners throughout the state. The guidance provided by the plan is not only for the agency but for Colorado as a whole. And coordination with partners is vital to the success of Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s efforts.
Why is the State Wildlife Action Plan Important?
In the years since writing and implementing the first State Wildlife Action Plan, Colorado Parks and Wildlife has been able to adopt a much more proactive approach to wildlife conservation. Using the guidance outlined in the plan for everything from prioritizing and coordinating to legislation and funding, the SWAP is one of Colorado’s major go-to documents for conservation. Read the entire SWAP document or check out our condensed SWAP version.