Celebrate the efficacy of the Endangered Species Act, May 14

Banner featuring Colorado endangered, threatened, and imperiled species

Here is a complete list of federally threatened and endangered and state species of special concern, threatened, and endangered species that call Colorado home!

The Endangered Species Act turns 50!

Endangered Species Act at 50 logo with illustrations of various species

The Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA) is a landmark piece of legislation that solidifies our national commitment to the conservation and protection of imperiled wildlife and plants. It’s an immensely popular and bipartisan bill that passed in a landslide. The Act remains a long-lasting example of commitment, cooperation, and the conservation triumphs we can make when working together.

In fact 99% of species protected under the Endangered Species Act have avoided extinction!

“This year, as we celebrate 50 years of the Endangered Species Act, we know its role in maintaining biodiversity is more important now than ever, especially as we face a worsening climate crisis and mass extinction. From protecting critical habitat to creating recovery plans, the Endangered Species Act has facilitated the recovery of species like the humpback whale and bald eagle, while also protecting iconic species like grizzly bears, sea turtles and jaguars. We know this milestone is also a time to reinvigorate our defense of Endangered Species Act protections. Each year, Republicans ramp up their attacks to undermine science-based decisions about listing, delisting, habitat protections and recovery, so they can more easily dole out favors for polluters. We stand ready to continue our fight for species and their habitats over the next 50 years and beyond.” House Natural Resources Ranking Member Raúl M. Grijalva

Despite its strong track record and the support of 90% of American voters, the Endangered Species Act continues to face political threats. In 2017 more than 400 organizations including us) signed a letter to members of Congress opposing efforts to weaken the law. This year provides an opportunity to reflect on the law’s successes, as well as find ways to strengthen it to protect imperiled plants and animals.


A huge thank you to our Endangered Species Act celebration partners:

Endangered Species Act at 50 logo with illustrations of various species
Endangered Species Coalition

Here are just some things you can do to celebrate and protect the Endangered Species Act:

Join an event this week:

Visit the ESA at 50 website and Endangered Species Coalition’s Event Map to find opportunities to join the celebration, educational resources, and more.

Participate in the 3rd Annual Endangered Species Chalk Art Event! In honor of Endangered Species Day, we’re holding a nationwide, all-ages chalk art competition that anyone can participate in, from wherever you live. This event will help raise awareness of the importance of endangered wildlife, and Endangered Species Coalition be giving away a variety of prizes, including a $250 Grand Prize for the best artwork and a number of small prizes just for participating!



  • Take action with the Center for Biological Diversity. Visit their Endangered Species Act at 50 Take Action page for current actions to protect endangered species.
  • Take action with Defenders of Wildlife. Tell your members of Congress to defend the Endangered Species Act.
  • Take action with Audubon. Urge your members of Congress to oppose efforts to remove the Lesser Prairie-Chicken from the Endangered Species Act.
  • Take action with Environment America. Tell the Fish and Wildlife Service that Gunnison sage-grouse need to be protected.

Listen and Watch:

Join us for the rest of the Colorado Endangered Species Week events!

Header image: Top row: American pika (imperiled, but not listed) courtesy of Will Thompson, USGS; boreal toad (state endangered) courtesy of Colorado Parks and Wildlife; greater sage-grouse (state special concern) courtesy of Bob Wick, Bureau of Land Management; Colorado River cutthroat trout (state special concern) courtesy of Colorado Parks and Wildlife; least tern (state endangered) courtesy of Amanda Boyd, USFWS; Bottom row: burrowing owl (state threatened) courtesy of Ben Lawrence; kit fox (state endangered) courtesy of Kelly Rigby, Bureau of Land Management; clay-loving wild buckwheat (state endangered) courtesy of Langton Alicia, USFWS; longnose leopard lizard (state special concern) courtesy of William Bosworth, ID Department of Fish and Game. All images are public domain.