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Rocky Mountain Region

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Wildlife Watching Etiquette

Recognizing that wildlife viewing is a favorite recreational activity of most Coloradoans, the Colorado Division of Wildlife has established a program to encourage and facilitate "Watchable Wildlife." Nearly all wildlife is "watchable wildlife," if you have the patience. The Colorado Division of Wildlife lists some good-sense rules for wildlife watching etiquette:wpe39.jpg (10882 bytes)

 

  1. Observe animals from a safe distance. Get close by using binoculars, a spotting scope or a camera with a telephoto lens. You probably are too close if animals are looking at you with head up and ears pointed toward you or are "jumpy" when you move or make a noise. If you see these signs, sit quietly or move slowly away until the behavior changes. Be especially sensitive to adults with young.
  2. Move slowly and casually, not directly at wildlife. Allow animals to keep you in view; do not surprise them.
  3. Never chase or harass wildlife; Harassment of wildlife is unlawful.
  4. Leave pets at home. At best they hinder wildlife watching; at worst they can chase, injure or kill wildlife.
  5. Using the animals’ behavior as a guide, limit the time you spend watching if animals appear to be stressed.
  6. Respect others who are viewing the same animals.
  7. Do not feed wild mammals.
  8. Respect private property; ask first to watch on private land.
  9. Resting is critical behavior for many animals; don’t encourage them to "do something" for you or your camera.
  10. Avoid animals that behave strangely or aggressively. They may be ill.

 

 

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USDA logo, which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo, which links to the agency's national site.