© Mike Norton (Colorado)

Conservation Priorities

The job of conserving the full range of Colorado's biological diversity is bigger than the resources available.  Thus, we need to set priorities for which species, habitat types, and/or geographic areas receive the most focus soonest.  Several efforts have been made to set Colorado's conservation priorities.  These efforts vary somewhat by starting assumptions and species of focus, but they all provide useful plans for conserving the most significant and imperiled species and habitats in our state.  The primary conservation priority scenarios available for Colorado are:  Colorado Natural Heritage Program's Biodiversity Scorecard for Colorado, Colorado Natural Heritage Program's Potential Conservation Areas, Colorado Division of Wildlife's State Wildlife Action Plan, The Nature Conservancy's Ecoregional Portfolios, the Center for Native Ecosystems' Wildlife Linkages, and the Center for Native Ecosystems' Southern Rockies Wildlands Network Vision.  

Featured Priorities

  • Colorado Wildlife Action Plan

    The Colorado wildlife action plan identifies useful, universal conservation priorities while also addressing species and habitat protection, restoration, enhancement, and information gaps.

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  • The Nature Conservancy Ecoregional Priorities in Colorado

    Working across the country with numerous partners, The Nature Conservancy establishes conservation goals and priorities as part of a ranking process that assesses global habitats and identifies high-priority ecological regions. These analyses develop and disseminate finer-scale data on a variety of measures — the distribution and status of biodiversity, the habitat condition, current and future threats, and important sociopolitical conditions influencing regional conservation success.

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  • Colorado Biodiversity Scorecard

    Conservationists and planners need methods to identify priority areas for conservation, information on how to characterize the relative importance, quality, and urgency of these areas (inform conservation strategies), and a means to measure conservation success on a regional or statewide basis over time. In order to assist the Colorado office of The Nature Conservancy with their "Measures of Success" program, and to provide biodiversity status information to other organizations in Colorado, the Colorado Natural Heritage Program has developed a prototype analysis of the status of Colorado's biodiversity, using a "scorecard" approach.

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  • Colorado Natural Heritage Program Potential Conservation Areas

    Colorado's Potential Conservation Areas (PCAs) assist citizens and land managers conserve at-risk species and natural communities around known occurrences of these biological resources by focusing on the ecological processes (such as fire, hydrology, etc.) necessary to support them.

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Additional Priorities

Quick Facts

Colorado Natural Heritage Program
Colorado State University, 8002 Campus Delivery
Fort Collins, CO 80523-8002

Contact Information

Phone: (970) 491-1309
Fax: (970) 491-3349


Founded in: 1979

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