Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) is committed to researching better ways to restore and improve wildlife habitat. CPW does not have a specific wildlife habitat research section. Instead, all of the research sections, as well as many CPW biologists and managers, are actively engaged in wildlife habitat research, as wildlife habitat restoration and improvement requires a broad knowledge base.
In terrestrial ecosystems, plant communities that are productive, diverse, and predominately native characterize healthy wildlife habitat. Plant communities of different types should occur in arrangements that satisfy the needs of wildlife for survival and reproduction throughout the year. In aquatic ecosystems, a productive food base and a variety of structures and depths that provide refuges for prey species, reproduction areas, and temperature choices characterize healthy wildlife habitat.
Restoring and improving wildlife habitat can involve:
Removal of undesirable species
Creating structures within streams
Protecting soil productivity by controlling erosion
Establishing forage species
Using disturbances such as fire or mechanical modifications to create a favorable mosaic of habitat patch types
Current Habitat Research Projects
Terrestrial Habitat Restoration & Improvement Projects
Restoring and improving terrestrial wildlife habitat is critical to ensuring that wildlife has access to the resources — forage, water, shelter — needed to sustain healthy populations. This requires understanding how habitat is being impacted and what methods are most effective in creating a landscape suitable for a variety of wildlife.