Astragalus tortipes is currently known only from an area of about 10 square kilometers in extreme southwestern Colorado. According to Anderson and Porter (1994), the nearest similar edaphic and elevational habitat occurs 160 km away from the known occurrences, and recent botanical investigations there failed to note any populations of Astragalus tortipes. Many plants were lost during construction of canals for McPhee Reservoir and there may be some continued impacts from increased vehicle accessibility. Agricultural development is another potential threat.
Off-road vehicle impacts and agricultural development may threaten Astragalus tortipes. Cattle grazing and prairie dogs do not appear to threaten this species.
Approximately 3,000 to 4,000 plants were documented in 2000 (Colyer 2000).
Inventory work is needed to survey for more populations. Protection is needed for known populations and habitat.
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