Important Bird Areas

Comanche National Grassland

Colorado

Location: This site is part of the 435,000-acre Comanche National Grassland, which is located in Baca, Otero, and Las Animas Counties. The site consists of Pastures 1AE, 1AW, 1N, and 1F.

Vegetative/natural features: The site is gently rolling and dissected with dry, sandy washes. Its plant communities include sandsage-mixed grass rangeland and shortgrass prairie.

Ownership: Federal (U.S. Forest Service)

Ornithological Summary

This site contains more than 25% of the Lesser Prairie-Chicken population in Colorado, and possibly greater than 5% of the total population of Lesser Prairie-Chickens. This species is considered Threatened in Colorado. The site also provides important breeding habitat for grassland bird species.

Year-round species:
Average #
Lesser Prairie-Chicken ~10 active leks/>20 historic leks

Conservation Issues

Potential threats: disturbance to birds; fire; overgrazing/overbrowsing; drought; excessive soil erosion/degradation.

Without further land consolidation, managing the landscape for area-sensitive species or creating landscape-scale mosaics of habitat will be difficult, if not impossible.

Efforts to address threats: Fire and livestock grazing on these grasslands have the potential of doing either harm or benefit to bird habitat. The U.S. Forest Service is inviting participation in grassland management at this site, by such parties as the Colorado Division of Wildlife and the Natural Resources Conservation Service, in an effort to promote the enhancement of the grasslands.

×