In terms of protection of, and management for, species of concern, several official levels of Threatened and Endangered status are recognized within the United States and within the State of Colorado. Below are the species of concern that occur at Arapaho. An Endangered species is one that is in danger of becoming extinct; a Threatened species is one whose population levels are low enough where the species could become Endangered. A Federal Candidate species is one that is under review for listing as a Threatened or Endangered species.
Preservation of the endangered plant species North Park Phacelia, phacelia formosula, requires special management practices. One population exists on the Refuge. It is a Colorado endemic which was first listed as an endangered species in 1982.
Called "Cock of the Plains" by Lewis and Clark, the greater sage-grouse, is a year-round resident on the Refuge. This species, Centrocercus urophasianus, is a candidate for addition to the federal endangered species list.
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Shiras' moose were reintroduced to the North Park area in 1978 and have thrived ever since. Fifteen to twenty individuals may be found on the Refuge in spring, summer and early fall.