Colorado wildlife law generally prohibits the live possession of both native and exotic wildlife. However, Special Wildlife Licenses can be issued which authorize the private possession of live wildlife for a limited number of particular purposes (such as rehabilitation, falconry, or scientific collection). Licensing information and applications specific to each authorized purpose are available under "Applications" on the Special Wildlife Licenses menu.
Parks and Wildlife Commission regulations do not permit the keeping of regulated wildlife as pets, so no license can be issued for that purpose. However, those species of wildlife on the Domestic Animals list (see #1103A below) or on the Unregulated Wildlife list (see #1103B below) can be possessed without a license and held as pets. Regulations also list "prohibited" species (see #008 and #012 below). The live possession of these species is severely restricted.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife has biological reasons to regulate the possession of live wildlife. An escaped exotic animal could potentially hybridize with a native species; cause habitat destruction; or compete for habitat space with native species. Captive raised wildlife also pose a potential threat for the introduction of disease into native populations. All of these complex factors must be taken into account when managing privately held live wildlife in the state of Colorado.