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John Martin Reservoir State Park supports a diverse community of wildlife.

Piping plover
Commonly seen animals include deer, coyote, rabbits, raccoons, squirrels, and prairie dogs. Resident and migratory birds abound at John Martin,  making the park a bird-watcher's paradise. Bald eagles and golden eagles can be seen during winter at John Martin.

Hunting is not permitted within the park boundaries but is permitted on the John Martin State Wildlife Area adjoining the State Park.


Least tern

This park is wonderful for viewing many specie​s of birds. See the John Martin Bird Checklist​. Two federally protected shorebirds, the least tern and the piping plover, nest here in spring and summer. Many other species of birds and raptors are found including bald ea​gles​, scaled quail, mallard ducks, and turkey vultures. 

During winter, bald and golden eagles can be seen in the area. They usually begin to arrive in mid to late November and stay until March. 

Plant Communities 

John Martin Reservoir State Park is located in Southeast Colorado and sits on a high desert prairie. The area abounds with high rocky bluffs and short grass prairie. Although at first glance the area looks dry and barren, the flora and fauna of the area are extensive.

The most recognized plant in the park is the Prickly pear cactus bloomsyucca or soap-weed plant, which has many medicinal uses dating back to the Native American tribes that once roamed the area. Also spotted are sagebrush, prickly pear cactus, buffalo grass and many tree species.