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State Wildlife Action Plan
State Wildlife Action Plan

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Colorado's State Wildlife Action Plan (SWAP)

Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) is embarking on a Comprehensive Review of the State Wildlife Action Plan​ (aka Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy) that was approved by the USFWS in 2006.

The Review will be complete by September 2015. 

A Lynx Mother Protecting Her YoungAs the state’s wildlife conservation agency, CPW will coordinate the revision of this important document with the assistance of the Colorado Natural Heritage ​Program (CNHP). However, many conservation organizations, agencies, and private citizens will also contribute their ideas and expertise to the final document. The SWAP will identify the top priority species and habitats that need conservation efforts in the state, and the potential conservation actions that can address the threats these species and habitats face. Ultimately, the SWAP can be used by everyone in Colorado as a guide for planning, partnership building, and project design and implementation. Thus, it is truly a strategy for all of Colorado. 

The Action Plan is not an Endangered Species Recovery Plan, nor other type of regulatory or “decision” document. Its purpose is to convey the state’s wildlife conservation needs in order to foster greater consistency in conservation efforts among all members of Colorado’s wildlife conservation community and others with a stake in Colorado wildlife conservation. The Action Plan will also provide references and internet links to the more specific conservation, recovery, or other action plans for numerous species and groups of species in Colorado. 

State Wildlife Action Plan Webinar

Next Steps 

Review of the SWAP is required to occur at least every ten years, thus the current effort. Coordination will occur with federal, state and local agencies and Indian tribes that manage lands or programs affecting wildlife. Public participation is encouraged in the implementation and review of the strategy. 

CPW has initiated a full review of the action plan by implementing a multi-step process to identify and prioritize an updated list of species of greatest conservation need and habitat priorities, and a better process to identify specific areas in Colorado as conservation priorities. 

While all elements will be considered throughout the review process, revisions will include:

  1. ​​inclusion of plants, 

  2. assessment of important wildlife corridors/linkages, and 

  3. identification of habitats and species of greatest conservation need that may be most vulnerable to climate changes projected for Colorado. 

Colorado Parks and Wildlife defines species conservation as conserving, protecting and enhancing Colorado’s native wildlife, by taking actions necessary to assure the continued existence of each species and thereby precluding or eliminating the need for state and /or federal listing. With continuing human activities exerting increasing pressure on Colorado’s wildlife species and their habitat, special attention is needed to prevent wildlife from declining to the point of endangerment. 


  • The timeline for the revision of the SWAP is described in the Gantt Chart

2015 SWAP Materials to Review​​

How to Get Involved

If you would like to be notified when materials are made available on this website, please send an email to to have your name added to the list of interested parties. Information will be posted at this website throughout the process. 

Currently Open for Review

Please submit comments via email to by 5:00 p.m. on July 17, 2015.  

​Thank you for your interest in the conservation of Colorado’s natural heritage!

Materials That Have Been Reviewed (Comment period closed​)

​Links of Interest: ​​​


In 2001, Congress established a new Wildlife Conservation and Restoration Program (WCRP) to provide funds to support the needs of wildlife species and their habitats and related recreational and educational activities. Through this program, grants are made to the states for the planning and implementation of wildlife and habitat conservation programs. Each state fish and wildlife agency was required to develop a SWAP by October 1, 2005, in order to continue to receive these funds. 

There are eight required elements that all Wildlife Action Plans must address. They are: 

  1. ​Information on the distribution and abundance of wildlife species, including low and declining populations as the state fish and wildlife agency deems appropriate, that are indicative of the diversity and health of the state's wildlife 

  2. Descriptions of locations and relative condition of key habitats and community types essential to conservation of the species identified in (1) 

  3. Descriptions of problems which may adversely affect species identified in (1) or their habitats, and priority research and survey efforts needed to identify factors which may assist in restoration and improved conservation of these species and habitats 

  4. Descriptions of conservation actions proposed to conserve the identified species and habitats and priorities for implementing such actions 

  5. Proposed plans for monitoring species identified in (1) and their habitats, for monitoring the effectiveness of the conservation actions proposed in (4), and for adapting these conservation actions to respond appropriately to new information or changing conditions 

  6. Descriptions of procedures to review the strategy at intervals not to exceed ten years 

  7. Plans for coordinating the development, implementation, review, and revision of the plan with federal, state and local agencies and Indian tribes that manage significant land and water areas within the state or administer programs that significantly effect the conservation of identified species and habitats 

  8. Inclusion of broad public participation as an essential element of developing and implementing these plans  

Greater sage-grouse

Colorado’s CWCS, submitted on September 29, 2005 fulfilled the eight specific elements required by Congress in the federal legislation that provides funds to the states. 

Colorado’s 2006 Action Plan identified 210 species and 13 major habitat types of greatest conservation need. For each species, the plan described population status, trend and distribution. It also placed these species in Tier 1 or 2 priority and identifies primary habitats, threats and conservation actions for each. The plan also described status and trend for Colorado’s wildlife habitats and ranked them as high, medium or low with regard to conservation need. Partners used this plan to identify wildlife conservation priorities to consider in proposing and implementing specific projects, and in identifying high priority threats and conservation actions to address those threats. Partners demonstrated how their proposals for conservation easements, habitat enhancement or restoration, invasive species control, or other conservation actions are linked to Colorado’s wildlife action plan priorities to compete for available grants. 

Initial 2006 Plan: