Indicator Description

Why We Are Measuring This
What the Data Shows

Species Listing

Extirpated species are those that have become locally extinct since the settlement of this area by people of European descent. Declining species are not yet extirpated but are at risk of disappearing. Species are categorized by the landscape they inhabit - county-wide, mountains, plains - and are labeled "E" for extirpated or "D" for declining (see charts facing page). Other species of concern are mentioned as well.

Data are collected by the Colorado Natural Heritage Program, Boulder County Parks and Open Space Department and Boulder County Nature Association.

Why We Are Measuring This

Boulder County is blessed with unparalleled natural surroundings. The county stretches from the eastern plains to the foothills to the mountains, encompassing a uniquely diverse array of species, ecosystems, life zones and landscapes. By attempting to measure the health of native species, we are looking not only at the welfare of the non-human residents of Boulder County but at the quality of habitat that supports all life forms. In a larger sense, the status of wildlife is an indicator of our ability to successfully co-exist with other species.

It is extremely difficult represent the highly complex and diverse ecosystems of Boulder County using only this sort of descriptive information, but at present, the state of the data doesn't allow us to do much more.

What the Data Show

Some of the most charismatic, large mammalian species of the plains, foothills and mountains have been eradicated from Boulder County, primarily due to conflicts with humans. Habitat destruction and fragmentation caused by development and early bounty hunting are responsible for most mammalian extirpations.

Avian species are sensitive to changes in habitat as well. Birds native to the plains have been affected by loss of native prairie, the single largest habitat type lost in the county. Birds throughout the county have been affected by deterioration of critical stream-side (riparian) and wetlands habitat, habitat fragmentation due to roads and development, and increases in predators and aggressive competitors who benefit from urbanization (house cats, raccoons, starlings and cowbirds).
Species Listing

Linkages:Land Annexation, Agricultural Land

Table of Contents/Overview/Boulder County at a Glance/A Vision for the Environment /
Air Quality
/Watershed Water Quality/Water Imports from the Western Slope/Land Annexation/
Agricultural Land
/Vehicle Miles Traveled/Recycling/Sources of Data

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