The Wyoming Game and Fish Department is requesting public comments on its latest plan that evaluates the status of the state’s most threatened species.
Biologists have been using the State Wildlife Action Plan (SWAP) that was developed in 2010 to study everything from mollusks to sage grouse. Game and Fish planning coordinator Glenn Pauley said the purpose of these strategies is to preempt endangered species listings by identifying threats and population declines early.
“The public has a lot of knowledge about some of these species, so if they have data available, or if they see threats in their areas, we are collecting information that would make the plan more effective,” Pauley said.
The plan draws from a federal grant to support states in learning about the animals within their borders and implementing conservation efforts. It identifies important habitat areas, as well as threats like development, fire, climate change, and invasive species.
Pauley says that in recent years, the grant has helped state biologists understand more about high profile species as well as those that wouldn’t normally get much attention.
“The magnitude of the species that the WGF department is responsible to conserve is a challenge. There are over eight hundred,” Pauley said. “So we often do have trouble coming up with funding to address all those species, and the SWGP supplies just a portion that would be needed to fully implement the plan.
The agency will be accepting comments until May 22nd.