The concept of biodiversity refers to conservation of plant and animal species in their natural environments to ensure a wide variety of species in an ecosystem. Having a rich biodiversity means plants and animals can serve each other as nature intended. Biodiversity studies explore habitat loss, threatened and endangered species, and conservation of ecosystems. Two state agencies, the Colorado Department of Natural Resources and Colorado State University’s Colorado Natural Heritage Program have conducted and published numerous studies on Colorado’s biodiversity and the need for conservation. Selected studies include:
Colorado Department of Natural Resources:
- Biodiversity: The Big Picture (1993)
- Colorado’s Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy (2005)
- Conservation Plan for Grassland Species in Colorado (2003)
- Strategic Plan for the Wetland Wildlife Conservation Program (2008)
- Wild Colorado: Crossroads of Biodiversity (2003)
Colorado Natural Heritage Program:
- A Biodiversity Scorecard for Colorado (2008)
- Ecological System Viability Specifications for Southern Rocky Mountain Ecoregion (2001)
- Inventory of Critical Biological Resources for the South Platte River Watershed (1996)
- Inventory of Critical Biological Resources in the Upper Arkansas Watershed (1999)
- Natural Heritage Resources of Douglas County and their Conservation (1996)
- Natural Treasures of Teller County (2011)
- North Platte River Basin Wetland Profile and Condition Assessment (2012)
- Park County Inventory of Critical Biological Resources (2001)
- Recommended Best Management Practices for Plants of Concern (2009)
- Riparian Assessment of the North Fork Gunnison River and Lower Gunnison River (2000)
- Rocky Mountain Alpine-Montane Wet Meadow Ecological System (2006)
- Rocky Mountain Subalpine-Montane Fen Ecological System (2006)
- Rocky Mountain Subalpine-Montane Riparian Shrublands Ecological System (2006)
- Rocky Mountain Subalpine-Montane Riparian Woodland Ecological System (2006)
- Significant Natural Heritage Resources of the Rocky Flats Environmental Technology Site and their Conservation (1994)
- Significant Plant, Animal, and Wetland Resources of Larimer County and their Conservation (1996)
- Southeastern Colorado Survey of Critical Biological Resources (2010)
- Upper San Juan Basin Biological Assessment (2003)
- Wetland Program Plan (2010)
- Catalog of the Colorado Flora: A Biodiversity Baseline, University Press of Colorado, 1992.
- Colorado Rare Plant Conservation Strategy, Colorado Department of Agriculture, 2009.
- Conserving Biodiversity on Private Lands, Natural Resources Law Center, University of Colorado School of Law, 1995.
- Federal Threatened and Endangered Species and Habitat Conservation, Colorado Legislative Council, 2001.
This is just a sampling of the many resources on this topic available from our library. Be sure to search our library’s online catalog for more publications. The Natural Heritage Program in particular has produced numerous reports not listed here, including studies of specific plant and animal species and geographic areas.