Sustainability tip: Keep wildlife wild

Kira Koppel
Walking Mountains Science Center
While it's exciting to see wildlife like deer in their natural habitat, it's important to remember that we are in their home, and that we need to respect their space.
Photo courtesy of Unsplash

Sustainability is about more than just what we do in our homes and businesses — it’s also about how we interact with the natural world around us.

You may know that World Wildlife Day took place last week. Much of the international press around this celebration of wildlife focused on the oceans this year, but this week, Walking Mountains Science Center wants to highlight our local wildlife populations and focus in on some helpful tips for what you can do to protect both wildlife and yourself.

We live in a unique community that is in close proximity to wildlife, which brings both joys and challenges. Wildlife was here before the Vail Valley was settled. Wildlife brings important services to keep our ecosystem functioning properly, and remains a top reason people come to visit this area.

Read on for some helpful strategies to stay safe around wildlife as the weather warms, and to learn about ways we can protect our local wildlife.

Keep your distance: The safest thing you can do for yourself and for the health of our local wildlife is to respect wildlife’s space by keeping your distance. It may seem tempting to get close-up photographs of the moose or bobcat you’ve seen in your neighborhood, but it is in everyone’s best interest to give these animals a wide berth.

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Respect trail closures: As the weather warms, you will notice certain trails and areas of the mountain closed off for animal habitat. Our local elk population is doing everything they can to get through this last stretch of winter with the food available. Respect their needs by not causing extra stress and movement from habitat disturbance.

Inform yourself: Learn more about how areas are selected for wildlife closures and why it is important by attending The Science Behind Wildlife Closures program in Gypsum on Wednesday, March 27. More information can be found at

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