Human Population Growth and its Effect on Wildlife

You can go practically anywhere in the state and see that Colorado’s population is booming.  The I-25 corridor, including Fort Collins, Colorado Springs, and the Denver Metropolitan Area, is especially seeing record growth.  More people results in more development, which equals changes and/or reduction in habitat for wildlife.  Therefore wildlife numbers are reduced, and many of those that survive are wandering into urbanized areas.  Predatory animals such as bears, mountain lions, and coyotes have become more dangerous to people and pets due to the building of homes in the animals’ natural habitats.  Other wildlife, such as prairie dogs, are being eliminated at fast pace.  Wildlife species are important to our ecosystem, and the loss of their habitat will bring continued changes and ever more frequent interactions with humans.  Not only does building development reduce wildlife habitat, but more roadways and traffic, human-caused wildfires, resource extraction, and other situations are hazardous to wildlife as well. Here are some resources from our library that discuss this trend, and how humans can deal with wildlife interactions in the interest of both human and animal safety.  All publications are issued by the Colorado Division of Wildlife (now Colorado Parks & Wildlife) unless otherwise noted.  For more resources, visit our library’s online catalog.