An enriching life experience is getting in touch with natural wildlife. In Summit County, Breckenridge, it’s easy to find a variety of wildlife such as foxes, moose, and mountain goats. While wildlife can be dangerous, there are safe ways to see them as long as you respect the space and habitat of the animals.
It’s vital to practice responsible tourism by protecting the environment and the animals. Here’s information about Breckenridge Wildlife and safely experiencing their presence:
Things to Keep in Mind When Dealing with Wildlife
- Learn to observe at a safe distance. Don’t attempt to approach, chase or follow wildlife.
- Avoid feeding wild animals to prevent changing their natural behaviors.
- Consider exploring the trails with a partner.
- Always be alert and monitor your surroundings closely to avoid surprises.
- Use common sense and prioritize your safety and other people’s safety.
- Take pictures from a safe spot.
Common Wildlife Found in Breckenridge
Moose are very large animals and can weigh anywhere from 800 to 1,200 pounds. Their antlers can grow up to 5 feet in width and they have large heads and long legs.
Habitat: They’re commonly found in areas where willows and brush are plentiful. Their long legs help them travel during snowy seasons. It’s hard to notice them since they often stay in the thick cover of willows and forests.
Protect yourself: Moose are territorial even if they eat plants and look calm. Be wary when it’s springtime when mothers are nursing their newborns. Fall is mating season so males can be more aggressive.
Keep yourself safe by putting a lot of distance between yourself and the animal. The moose can be unnoticeable as they have a habit of blending in with the foliage. They’re often heard rather than seen. If you find yourself near a moose, quickly move away or seek cover through a large object like a boulder or massive tree.
The red fox belongs to the canine family. They’re gifted with a great sense of smell and hearing. Red foxes can run at top speeds covering 30 miles per hour. Their mane runs from orange, blonde, and gray hues even if their name suggests otherwise. They are known as skilled predators.
Habitat: Red foxes are often located in open woodlands, pastures, and agricultural lands. But you can also encounter them in urban areas.
Protect yourself: Due to the foxes’ bold confidence around humans, it’s important to avoid feeding them. Properly dispose of your food and trash to avoid encouraging scavenging. Be careful if you have small pets since a fox could choose to attack them.
Black bears are also large animals and can pull in a 600-pound weight and can reach a height of 5-6 feet. They can climb trees easily and are known for their running speed.
Habitat: Black bears are mainly found in forests where plenty of fruits and vegetation are available. They’re often most active from mid-march to early November and hibernate during the winter till spring season.
Protect yourself: Typically, black bears are highly guarded and tend to run away from people. They’re, however, naturally drawn to food, especially exposed ones. This can lead to an altered feeding habit presenting a danger to humans.
If you encounter a bear, keep calm and remain still. Talk calmly and let it leave. Ensure the bear has an escape route. Avoid running or climbing a tree and leave immediately when you spot cubs. To prevent encounters, dispose of your trash well. Always be alert when walking the trail and initiate some noise.
Elks are also some of the largest deer in Colorado measuring seven to nine feet in size. They can reach 900 pounds and have tan and light brown shades of fur. Elks also have enormous antlers.
Habitat: Elk are typically found grazing in the mountainous areas where meadows are available. They usually move in groups and feed on grasses.
Protect yourself: Similar to other wildlife, keep your distance and avoid feeding them. Leave the elk undisturbed and maintain a boundary even when taking photos.
Coyotes also belong to the canine family. Their size is smaller than wolves but larger than foxes. They have greyish-white manes, weigh about 30-40 pounds and measure four feet in size.
Habitat: Coyotes are flexible and can live anywhere in the state. They can also feed on a variety of meat and plants.
Protect yourself: They’re considered to be highly adaptable, comfortable with the human presence, and intelligent predators. The best way to keep them away is by getting rid of food, dispose of your trash in a covered receptacle, and put a leash on your pet.
Other Breckenridge Wildlife
Other wildlife you’ll spot around Breckenridge are deer, beavers, porcupines, bighorn sheep, American pika, lynx, mountain lions, and mountain goats.
Breckenridge Colorado’s wildlife can be very beautiful and peaceful. It’s important to respect the animal’s immediate space and general habitat. Remember you’re in their home.
To avoid attracting predators, you must avoid feeding wildlife. Another tip that can’t be stressed enough is to dispose of trash properly. Stay alert and heed precautions. By following these guidelines you’ll be able to peacefully enjoy Colorado’s breathtaking outdoor spaces.