Flaming Gorge Dam Effects on Amphibian, Reptile, and Mammal Populations

Lacy Smith

The construction of Flaming Gorge Dam has modified the flow of the Green River, causing decreased flooding and altering the surrounding riparian vegetation. There are many species of animals relying on this habitat, but the effects of the habitat alterations on amphibians, reptiles, and mammals are not well known. Amphibians may suffer due to a decreased floodplain but reptiles and mammals are most likely either benefited or not affected at all. Alterations to the vegetation composition and their food source are factors determining the populations’ response to the regulated river. These populations may revert to their historic structure and function as the distance from the dam increases, in accordance with the serial discontinuity concept.