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Centennial Valley

Species of Special Concern


Photo of trumpeter swan pair and their chicksTwo hundred sixty-one bird species or approximately 70% of those found in Montana inhabit the valley. At least 150 bird species breed in the valley. The valley has been the base for trumpeter swan recovery efforts in the Northern Rockies since a remnant population was discovered here in the early 1900's. The Centennial Valley hosts the densest breeding population of peregrine falcons, ferruginous hawks, and trumpeter swans in Montana. The valley historically had a large population of sage grouse and still maintains remnant populations. Red Rock Creek and Upper Red Rock Lake contain one of the only native lacustrine populations of Arctic grayling in the lower 48 states. Several streams in the valley contain genetically pure westslope cutthroat trout. The stream habitat of the valley also provides habitat for river otters. Lying only 20 miles from Yellowstone National Park, the Centennial Valley is a linkage zone and provides secure habitat for wide ranging native predators such as grizzly bear, wolf, wolverine, and lynx.

  Arctic grayling photo  Canada lynx photo

The Centennial Valley’s soils give rise to a diverse array of plants and plant communities, including some of considerable scientific importance. Location records indicate 41 plant Species of Special Concern, including five that may be globally rare and seven that are known only from the Centennial Valley in Montana. Vegetation in the Centennial Sandhills represents one of Montana’s most intact native plant associations and includes at least five state-rare species.


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