“Wildlife in Our Town”
One of the most attractive thing about living in Douglas County is the abundant wildlife and open space but that very close to nature feel can also be very challenging to newcomers to the area.
This is the first in a two-part series about how to live with wildlife in the Town of Parker.
In most situations, people and wildlife can coexist. The key is to respect the wildness of wildlife.
• Do NOT feed wildlife! Feeding songbirds is okay, but be aware it may attract other animals.
• Don’t give wildlife the opportunity to get into your garbage. Store it in metal of plastic containers with tight-fitting lids. Keep the cans in a garage or shed and put trash out only when it’s scheduled to be picked up.
• Keep pet food inside.
• Fence gardens and cover fruit trees with commercially available netting to protect your harvest.
• Leave wildlife alone! Wildlife should not be harassed, captured, domesticated or fed.
In Colorado, nearly all species of snakes are not only harmless but beneficial to humans because of their appetites for insects and rodents. However, if you prefer to keep them from moving into your yard or home, follow these four tips:
1. Eliminate cool, damp areas where snakes hide. Remove brush and rock piles, keep shrubbery away from foundations and cut tall grass.
2. Control insect and rodent populations (the snakes’ primary food source) to force them to seek areas with a larger food supply. Put grains in tightly sealed containers and clean up residual pet food and debris.
3. In rattlesnake-infested areas, construct a snakeproof fence around the backyard or play area.
4. To prevent snakes from entering basements and crawl spaces, seal all openings ¼-inch or larger with mortar, caulking compound or 1/8-inch hardware cloth. Check for holes or cracks around doors, windows, water pipes, electrical lines, etc.
Snakes may seek shelter in basements, sheds, or crawl spaces in cold weather. If it becomes necessary to remove a snake, several humane methods are available.
1. A good way to remove a nonvenomous snake is to seek it into a large bucket with a broom and then release it outdoors.
2. Damp burlap sacks covered with dry sacks to retain moisture are attractive denning sites when placed along a wall in a basement or crawl space. Check the bags daily and remove snakes with a shovel.
In areas where deer are common, shrub and tree damage may be a problem. Commercial deer repellents or mixtures containing eggs have proven successful in warding off deer. You can also keep deer from eating flowers and shrubs by putting wire cylinders and fences around plants or by planting deer-resistant plants.
If you come across a fawn lying quietly by itself leave it alone. Even though the fawn appears to be orphaned, it is not alone; its mother is nearby, aware and attentive. If you are absolutely certain the parent animal has abandoned their young, mark the location on a map or measure the mileage from a landmark and report it to the Animal Services Officer.
For more information on living with wildlife, visit www.ParkerPolice.org/wildlife.