The Rocky Mountains are home to a variety of animals, including 282 reported bird species, seven native and four exotic fish species, 67 mammal species, including locally extinct bison, grizzly bear and gray wolf, 141 confirmed butterfly species and 300 other insect species, and five species of amphibians and reptiles. Many of the animals found in the Rocky Mountains are unique to the montane ecosystem.Continue Reading
Fish species found in the Rocky Mountains lakes and rivers include Western longnose sucker, Western white sucker, mountain sucker, mottled sculpin, Colorado speckled dace, greenback cutthroat trout, Colorado River cutthroat trout, Eastern brook trout and rainbow trout. With the help of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, recovery programs for endangered Colorado River cutthroat and greenback cutthroat trout were put into place in 1975.
Some of the mammal species found in the Rocky Mountains include montane vole, deer mouse, long-eared myotis, coyote, moose, beaver and American elk. While there is not much information about population trends for the majority of mammal species, elk, mule deer and bighorn sheep are monitored, while lynx and wolverine are considered extremely rare.
The Rocky Mountains amphibians and reptiles include tiger salamander, Western toad, boreal chorus frog, Western terrestrial garter snake and wood frog. All the amphibians are considered species of concern, with a recovery program running for boreal toad, or "Western toad."Learn more about Environmental Science