Colorado Life Zones: Seasons, Plants, & Animals
Step 1: Choose One of the Life Zones or Choices Below
CO Life Zone Menu Bar
Colorado Life Zones General information Interactive Life Zone Diagram Colorado Life Zones Maps Semidesert Shrublands Life Zone West CO Shortgrass Prairie or Plains Life Zones Foothills Woodlands and Shrublands Montane Forests Life Zone Subalpine Life Zone Alpine Life Zone Riparian Life Zones
Montane Forests Life Zone: Seasons, Plants, & Animals
Step 2: Choose a Topic from the Montane Forests Life Zone & Scroll Down

Montane Forests Life Zone General Information

General Information

Montane Forests Life Zone Through the Seasons

Through the Seasons

Montane Forests Life Zone Mountain Pine Beetle

Mountain Pine Beetle

Montane Forests Life Zone Awesome Adaptations Awesome Adaptations

Montane Forests Life Zone Plants and Trees

Plants and Trees

Montane Forests Life Zone  Mammals

Mammals

Montane Forests Life Zone Birds

Birds

Montane Forests Life Zone Reptiles and Amphibians

Reptiles & Amphibians

Colorado Life Zones General information Interactive Life Zone Diagram Colorado Life Zones Maps Semidesert Shrublands Life Zone West CO Plains Life Zones
Reptiles & Amphibians of the Montane Forests Life Zone

    Very few reptiles and amphibians live in the montane. The deep winter snows, shorter montane summers, and cooler temperatures can make it difficult for cold blooded creatures to survive. Only a few snakes can live this high in elevation. Amphibians, like the western chorus frog and tiger salamander, must quickly reproduce and grow up while the temperatures are warm enough during the short summers.  By early fall, they are burrowed into the ground waiting for next summer.

Tiger Salamander

CO Herp Society

Hogle Zoo

Bush Gardens

eNature

Tiger Salamander

Western or Boreal Toad

CO Herp Society

CO Div of Wildlife

Hogle Zoo

eNature

Western or Boreal Toad

Western Terrestrial Garter Snake

CO Herp Society

CSU NDIS

Utah Div of Wildlife

eNature

Western Terrestrial Garter Snake

Western Chorus Frog

CO Herp Society

Utah Div of Wildlife

CSU NDIS

eNature

Western Chorus Frog

Smooth Green Snake

CO Herp. Society

CSU NDIS

Utah Div of Wildlife

eNature

Smooth Green Snake

Wood Frog

CO Herp. Society

CSU NDIS

eNature

Wood Frog
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Awesome Adaptations: Western Terrestrial Garter Snake

    The western terrestrial garter snake can live in habitats or life zones where most other snakes or reptiles can not survive. They usually live in places in Colorado up to 11,000 feet above sea level, but some western terrestrial garter snakes have been found high in the apline life zone during the summer. They are not poisenous and usually can be found around water. The garter snake is not a picky eater. The garter snake will eat slugs, leeches, tadpoles, salamanders, frogs, worms, insects, fish, eggs, voles, and other small animals.

   During the long cold winter, garter snakes must find deep underground dens where the ground temperature keeps it just above freezing. Since there may be only a few of these dens in an area, many garter snakes will share one den. In spring lots of snakes may come out of one hole. Another trick that helps them survive is that they do not lay eggs like other snakes. They give birth to live young. This is very important since the time the snakes have to put on fat before the next winter is short. It is pretty impressive that the western terrestrial garter snake has found a way to live in the cold and snowy montane and subalpine life zones when few to no other reptiles could.

Sources of information and to find more information: CO Herp Society, CSU NDIS, Utah Div of Wildlife, eNature

Western Terrestrial Garter Snake Western Terrestrial Garter Snake