Q:

What animals live in Colorado?

A:

Quick Answer

Some of the animals that live in Colorado are pronghorn, elk, mule deer, mountain lions, black bears and big-horn sheep, according to LandScope. Colorado is also home to prairie dogs, which are tiny yet wide-ranging rodents.

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Full Answer

Colorado hosts a wide array of species, including 750 species of vertebrate animals and tens of thousands of invertebrates, states LandScope. Pronghorn are the fastest land animals in North America, and they wander the prairies and sagebrush shrublands. Elk and mule deer dominate the mountain systems of Colorado, swiftly jumping over 6-foot-tall fences and escaping predators. Mountain lions usually feed on mule deer and young elk. The lynx is a rare and elusive species that lives in areas with abundant snowshoe hares. The fastest of all animals in Colorado is the big-horn sheep.

The prairie dog is considered one of the state's "keystone" species, and it is categorized as a nuisance species and a species of concern, explains LandScope. The Department of Agriculture explains that prairie dogs are listed as a nuisance species mainly because they create large colonies, dig burrows and consume the same forage as cattle. The Division of Wildlife classifies them as a species of concern as their populations have dwindled by more than 90 percent, and they are essential to the survival of many grassland species, such as ferruginous hawks and mountain plovers.

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