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Living with Wildlife
Living with Wildlife

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Handling Conflicts

Not finding on this page what you need to know about living with wildlife? Search our Frequently Asked Questions database; select "co-existing with wildlife" as the topic, then enter your search term!

If you have conflict issues involving big game species, you should contact your local Colorado Parks and Wildlife office. (Big game species include deer, elk, pronghorn, sheep, goats, bear, and moose.) Before calling, read the appropriate articles, listed below, to learn of ways you can reduce the potential for conflicts with wildlife.

If a wildlife conflict poses immediate danger for the animal or people in the area, call your local CPW office or law enforcement agency. Please do not call if the conflict is simply "nuisance" in nature.

If you have nuisance wildlife issues that cannot be resolved, please check the yellow pages in your phone book under Pest Control. Again, read the pertinent articles, below, before calling; you may be able to resolve problems on your own.

Avoiding Conflicts

As cities along the Front Range and throughout Colorado grow, these new or expanding subdivisions impact wildlife habitat. Wild animals are often displaced by development whereas other species are able to live in nearby open spaces, parks, undeveloped parcels of land, river bottoms, and on or near bodies of water. Others have adapted well to urban living; skunks and raccoons, in particular, seem to thrive in and near cities.

In most situations, people and wildlife can coexist. The key is to respect the wildness of wildlife. "Wildlife" is just that—wild. Most dangerous and potentially harmful encounters ​occur because people fail to leave the animals alone. Wildlife should not be harassed, captured, domesticated or—in most cases—fed. Intentional or inadvertent feeding is the major cause of most wildlife problems, and it is illegal to feed deer, bighorn sheep, mountain goats, pronghorn, and elk in Colorado.

Specific topics about living with wildlife in Colorado are listed and linked in the table below.

Birds

General

Land​​​- owners & Developers

Mammals

Pets

Reptiles &  Amphibians

Be Aware

New “sandwich board” signs are being used by wildlife officers on the Front Range to alert citizens when bears, mountain lions, or coyotes are active in their communities. The signs will also provide informational pamphlets about possible wildlife conflicts and mitigation methods, and Colorado Parks and Wildlife contact information.

The use of the signs will be determined by the local wildlife officer—for example, if a bear has been getting into trash in a neighborhood, the Bear Alert sign may be placed nearby. Signs will stay in place for a few days so that the public can be made aware of wildlife activity, but not long enough that residents and visitors might become habituated to the visual signal of the sign.

These signs are part of the Colorado Parks and Wildlife's ongoing efforts to assist and inform the public about certain wildlife activity on the Front Range. It is expected that people in an area temporarily affected will heed these alerts, and take advantage of prevention tips and information provided by the signs.

'Bear Alert' sign. Bear Alert— When this sign is posted it means that a bear has been seen in the area or neighborhood. The bear may or may not have had contact with food sources or caused property damage. Citizens need to be aware of the presence of a bear or bears and conside​​r precautions:

  • Make sure trash is stored in a bear proof container, shed, or garage; put trash out on the morning of pickup only.
  • Remove bird feeders and other food attractants (pet food, for example), including BBQ grills.
  • Secure windows and doors.
  • Supervise children and pets when they are outside.
'Lion Alert' neighborhood sign. Lion Alert—When this sign is posted it means that a lion has been seen in the area or neighborhood. The lion may or may not have had contact with humans or pets. Citizens need to be aware of the presence of a mountain lion and consider precautions:
  • Supervise children and pets when they are outside.
  • Refrain from playing, running, or walking outside between dusk and dawn.
  • When leaving home or returning in the evening and early morning hours, turn on outside lights.
Coyote in the Area—When this sign is posted it means that a coyote or coyotes have been seen in the area or neighborhood. The coyote may or may not have had contact with humans or pets. Citizens need to be aware of the presence of coyotes and consider precautions:
  • Supervise pets or small children when they are outside.
  • Make sure there are no food attractants near their home or in the area (bird feeders, pet food, trash, etc.). Remove or store attractants indoors.