southern-rockies_marty-urbanovsky
© Marty Urbanovsky

Southern Rockies

Threats to Southern Rockies

There is space in the Southern Rockies for both humans and wildlife to thrive.

However, where human activities upset the natural balance of nature that these species have relied upon for millennia, it can impact everything from the species survival to the water and land that so many depend upon.  

Livestock Grazing

The consequences of inappropriate livestock grazing can have serious implications for wildlife in the Southern Rockies. Improperly managed grazing can pollute water, damage sensitive habitat, spread invasive species and contribute to unnatural fire patterns across the region. 

Habitat Loss and Fragmentation

As human development affects more land, habitat for wildlife is lost and connections between wildlife populations disappear. Residential development, roads and other encroachments into remaining habitat can increase wildlife conflicts, usually to the detriment of species. Misguided forest and wildfire policies and poorly designed timber projects degrade and destroy wildlife habitat in the region. Excessive motorized recreation disturbs wildlife, severs migratory corridors and fragments natural habitat in the Southern Rockies. Oil and gas development in the Southern Rockies has also fragmented and degraded large tracts of wildlife habitat in the region, killing and displacing wildlife. 

Water

The diversion and over-allocation of water for development, agriculture and energy production severely impact the region, affecting native trout, southwest willow flycatcher, yellow billed cuckoo and other species that depend on riverine habitats.