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Rocky Mountains Region

Species and Description
(click for a detailed technical account)
(click to view literature citations and larger graph)
(current and historic range)

Arctic peregrine falcon
Falco peregrinus tundrius
The use of DDT and other organochlorine pesticides resulted in reproductive failures in Arctic peregrines and caused their population to plummet. After DDT was banned, migration counts at the New Jersey Cape May Hawkwatch site saw the number of migrating Arctic peregrines increase from 103 in 1976, to 429 in 1992 (the species was delisted in 1994), to 1,017 in 2004.

AL(m), AK(b), AZ(m), AR(m), CA(m), CO(m), CT(m), DE(m), DC(m), FL(m), GA(m), ID(m), IL(m), IN(m), IA(m), KS(m), KY(m), LA(m), ME(m), MD(m), MA(m), MI(m), MN(m), MS(m), MO(m), MT(m), NE(m), NV(m), NH(m), NY(m), NM(m), NJ(m), NC(m), ND(m), OH(m), OK(m), OR(m), PA(m), RI(m), SC(m), SD(m), TN(m), TX(m), UT(m), VT(m), VA(m), WA(m), WV(m), WI(m), WY(m) ---

Whooping crane
Grus americana
The whooping crane declined precipitously in the late 1800's and early 1900's due to hunting and habitat loss. It rebounded from 54 birds (48 wild and 6 captive) when listed as an endangered species 1967 to 513 (368 wild and 145 captive) in 2006.

CO(m), FL(b), GA(m), IL(m), IN(m), KS(m), KY(m), MT(m), NE(m), ND(m), OK(m), SD(m), TN(m), TX(s), WI(b), WY(m) --- AL(x), AR(x), DE(x), DC(x), IA(x), LA(x), MD(x), MN(x), MS(x), MO(x), NJ(x), NC(x), OH(x), SC(x), UT(x), VA(x), WV(x)

American peregrine falcon
Falco peregrinus anatum
The use of DDT and other organochlorine pesticides resulted in reproductive failures in American peregrines and caused populations to plummet. After DDT was banned, the number of American peregrine pairs breeding in the U.S. increased from 324 in 1975 to 1,700 in 2000; the species was delisted in 1999.

AL(m), AK(b), AZ(b), AR(m), CA(b), CO(b), CT(b), DE(b), DC(m), GA(b), ID(b), IL(b), IN(b), IA(b), KS(m), KY(b), LA(m), ME(b), MD(b), MA(b), MI(b), MN(b), MS(m), MO(m), MT(b), NE(b), NV(b), NH(b), NY(b), NM(b), NJ(b), NC(b), ND(m), OH(b), OK(m), OR(b), PA(b), RI(b), SC(b), SD(b), TN(b), TX(b), UT(b), VT(b), VA(b), WA(b), WV(m), WI(b),

Black-footed ferret
Mustela nigripes
As many as 5.6 million black-footed ferrets once occurred throughout the grasslands and basins of interior North America, but were widely extirpated with the elimination of prairie dogs nationwide. The ferret was thought to be extinct in 1980, but reintroductions from a single population in Wyoming have led to 400 ferrets in the wild in 6 states, and 400 more in captive breeding facilities.

AZ(b), CO(b), MT(b), SD(b), UT(b), WY(b) --- KS(x), NE(x), NM(x), ND(x), OK(x), TX(x)

Greenback cutthroat trout
Oncorhynchus clarki stomias
Greenback cutthroat populations first declined as a result of mining pollution, unregulated harvesting and the dewatering of streams; further declines resulted from competition and hybridization with non-native introduced trout. After it was thought the species had gone extinct, a total of nine historic populations of greenback cutthroat were eventually discovered and greenback were reintroduced into numerous waters with 23 populations considered self sustaining

CO(b) --- WY(x)

American burying beetle
Nicrophorus americanus
Although the cause of the American burying beetle's drastic decline (the beetle is absent from 90% of its historic range) is not well understood, it is thought to be due to disturbances in the food chain. Captive breeding and reintroduction efforts increased the total number of captive and introduced populations from one in 1990 to six in 2005.

AR(b), KS(b), MA(b), NE(b), OH(b), OK(b), RI(b), SD(b), TX(b) --- AL(x), CT(x), DE(x), DC(x), FL(x), GA(x), IL(x), IN(x), IA(x), KY(x), LA(x), ME(x), MD(x), MI(x), MN(x), MS(x), MO(x), MT(x), NH(x), NY(x), NJ(x), NC(x), ND(x), PA(x), SC(x), TN(x), VT(x), VA(x), WV(x), WI(x)

Gray wolf (Western DPS)
Canis lupus (Western DPS)
Hunting and persecution of gray wolves led to their extirpation in the western portion of the lower 48 states. Gray wolves began recolonizing the Rocky Mountain region in the early 1980s and currently 93 wolves are estimated to be in Montana, 294 in Greater Yellowstone, and 525 in Central Idaho.

ID(b), MT(b), OR(o), WA(o), WY(b) --- CA(x), CO(x), NV(x), UT(x)

Gray wolf (Southwest DPS)
Canis lupus (Southwest DPS)
Hunting and trapping resulted in the extirpation of Mexican gray wolves from the United States by 1970. Wolves captured in Mexico were used to establish a captive breeding program and as of 2005, there were 35-49 Mexican gray wolves in the wild making up 8 packs.

AZ(b), NM(b) --- CO(x), OK(x), TX(x), UT(x)

Grizzly bear (Yellowstone DPS)
Ursus arctos horribilis (Yellowstone DPS)
The killing of grizzly bears and the destruction and fragmentation of their habitat caused drastic population declines in the lower 48 states; by 1975 only six populations remained. The number of grizzly bears in the greater Yellowstone population has increased from an estimated 224 bears in 1975 to over 500 bears in 2005.

ID(b), MT(b), WA(b), WY(b) --- AZ(x), CA(x), CO(x), KS(x), MN(x), NE(x), NV(x), NM(x), ND(x), OK(x), OR(x), SD(x), TX(x), UT(x)

Bald eagle (Continental U.S. DPS)
Haliaeetus leucocephalus (Continental U.S. DPS)
The bald eagle declined throughout the Lower 48 states due to habitat loss and DDT application. The banning of DDT, increased habitat protection, and aggressive captive breeding and translocation programs caused the number of bald eagle pairs in the Lower 48 to soar from 416 in 1963 to approximately 9,789 in the latest census between 2004-2006.

AL(b), AZ(b), AR(b), CA(b), CO(b), CT(b), DE(b), DC(b), FL(b), GA(b), ID(b), IL(b), IN(b), IA(b), KS(b), KY(b), LA(b), ME(b), MD(b), MA(b), MI(b), MN(b), MS(b), MO(b), MT(b), NE(b), NV(b), NH(b), NY(b), NM(b), NJ(b), NC(b), ND(b), OH(b), OK(b), OR(b), PA(b), RI(b), SC(b), SD(b), TN(b), TX(b), UT(b), VT(b), VA(b), WA(b), WV(b), WI(b), WY(b) ---

(b) currently breeds, (s) seasonally present, (m) migration route, (o) occasionally present, (x) extirpated

Banner photo © Phillip Colla