There are many different types of wildlife one might encounter in the Denver area, despite the ever growing urban aspect of the city. Commonly seen wildlife can include Canadian geese, coyotes, prairie dogs and squirrels and many more. Animals are extremely adaptable creatures, this being a necessary trait for animals who live around the ever growing city of Denver. Some wildlife will of course be impacted, even displaced, by the growth of the city, while some animals will adapt well to the urban areas. It is important to conserve as much of the natural wildlife as possible in urban areas like Denver so that the animals can live on for years to come.
Canadian geese are one wildlife species that are commonly encountered in Denver. These beautiful birds can weigh up to 25 pounds and are drawn to areas where Kentucky blue grass and ponds or lakes are readily available to them. The geese feed on the grass and prefer easy access to bodies of water where they have an open view all around them to watch for predators.
Residents of Denver may inadvertently create the perfect habitat for the geese by using Kentucky blue grass for their lawns or having ponds in their neighborhoods or backyards. While these birds are not actually dangerous, they can be destructive to lawns, gardens and property. The geese like to feed on short grass, such as that of residential lawns, and a backyard pond could serve as the perfect habitat for the Canadian Geese. If someone is looking for a way to deter or get rid of the geese that may be trying to move in, there are plenty of options to get the job done safely and humanely for the sake of the animals.
Step one would be to reduce available food sources. Since geese prefer short, manicured lawns to feed on, it is a good idea to keep the grass a bit longer in order to deter the birds. Using fencing and barriers to keep the geese away from water sources is also a great way to deter them. If there is no easy access to water, the geese will be less inclined to stick around. By using metallic pinwheels, streamers or noisemakers to startle the geese will also keep them away effectively. The removal, whether humane or lethal, or relocation of the geese is not an option. These birds are protected by the government and even if it were possible to remove them, if the landscape stays the same, the birds will eventually come back. It is best to either accept them and live in harmony, or to do your best to deter them and make your home as uninviting to them as possible.
Coyotes, Foxes and Large Cats
Coyotes and foxes are fairly common even in urban areas and cities such as Denver. It is also not entirely impossible to encounter a large cat, such as a bobcat or mountain lion. These animals can be a bit more dangerous to encounter as they are carnivores and hunters. Due to the adaptability and intelligence of these types of wildlife, especially coyotes, they have been successful in expanding their hunting range, despite the decline of natural habitats and available food sources. As more and more generations of these predators are born in cities, they get more used to seeing cars, people and pets. This makes them especially dangerous because once a coyote, fox, or wild cat has gotten used to their surroundings, they typically lose the fear of people and cities that they may display at first. Being in an urban setting desensitizes these creatures to fear, and makes them grow bolder and feel more comfortable in that location. The more times a predator like these animals sees people and nothing happens to them, it affects their behavior, making them grow bolder and potentially more aggressive. This new behavior poses a threat to people and pets in the area.
A coyote or fox who is very used to seeing people may not hesitate to come right into a residential area searching for food. If you keep animals such as chickens, rabbits, livestock or even your family cat or dog, there is a risk of predators like these wreaking havoc. Even if the animal in question only carries off one small animal, it now associates that place with food and will repeatedly come back for more. This can be a scary situation as it draws the predators to the area, and keeps them hanging around. Once an animal is comfortable with its surroundings, it poses a threat to families in the area. As long as a reliable food source remains, the animals will not leave unless forced out or removed.
In cases where a predatory animal is hanging around a home or neighborhood, removal is the best and safest option for both the residents and the animals. The best course of action is to contact a wildlife removal company, animal control, or independent contractor who humanely removes predators. Whoever you contact will typically come out and try to trap the animal and then transport it to a safe place a long distance from where it was captured to ensure that it does not return to that area again.
Prairie Dogs, Squirrels And Other Rodents
Rodents are common in all parts of the country, Denver is no exception. Prairie dogs, squirrels, rats and mice are all extremely common, even in residential areas due to the abundance of food sources they encounter there. Rodents may not be a dangerous type of animal, but they can certainly be destructive. Squirrels typically like to stay outside in trees, but they have been known to come into homes, sheds, barns cellars and attics. If a squirrel makes it into your home it can damage wiring by chewing through visible wires, invade your pantry or kitchen cabinets, and can be very difficult to catch and remove. If you discover that there is a squirrel making itself at home in your home, it is best to contact someone who specializes in humane squirrel control, humane rodent control, or to try to humanely do it yourself. Trapping the animal and releasing it back into the wild a good distance from your home is the best plan of action in these situations.
Prairie dogs are a species that has been displaced by the growth of the city, resulting in problems for the citizens of Denver. The destruction of the prairie dogs natural habitat has resulted in them being forced to move into city parks, and residential areas in search of food and homes. This leads to destruction of yards, gardens and plant life in the area. Typically prairie dogs will roam over different areas, allowing the vegetation to grow again once they leave the area. With the limited space that they are now being forced into, they just demolish vegetation in any area they reside. Residents and city officials must now figure out how to deter these rodents by building special fences around yards, and learn to coexist with them since removal is not a permanent solution. If prairie dogs, squirrels, rabbits or other rodents are removed, they will most likely come back unless the area they were living is completely uninhabitable.
Rabbits are another safe, but destructive rodent that is common in the city. They will eat any vegetation they can find including lawns, flowers and vegetable gardens. It is best to just design your yard to deter rodents and learn to live with them as part of everyday life. If rabbits are destroying your yard, garden or flowerbeds no matter what you do, removal is possible by humanely trapping and transporting them to another area, but may not permanently solve the problem as the area can be repopulated quickly.
One downside to having small rodents around is that their presence draws predators to the area, which as mentioned before, can pose a threat to your family and pets. If all the rodents are eliminated, either by removal or by predators, the predators are more likely to turn to your livestock or family pets as a new food source, turning a small problem into an even larger problem. In reality it is best to learn to live in harmony with the wildlife that continues to stay in Denver.