Why Do We Need to Know Which Species are Most Vulnerable?
Over 150 wildlife species in southwest Wyoming are listed as Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN) by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department (WGFD). Southwest Wyoming has abundant energy resources, but energy resource development is accompanied by substantial disturbance, both through the extraction process itself and supporting infrastructure (well pads, roads, storage tanks, pipelines). This disturbance can impact wildlife species in many ways, including habitat fragmentation, habitat loss, obstruction of migration routes, and reduced water quality and quantity, to name a few. Given the current environment of rapid energy development, it is important to assess the vulnerability of these wildlife species to energy development and to prioritize the management, monitoring, and research needs of Wyoming‘s numerous SGCN.