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Natural Areas

Deer at Coyote Ridge Natural Area

Wildlife at Natural Areas#

Fort Collins is a great place for wildlife because it's located where the mountains meet the plains. A remarkably rich diversity of wildlife can be seen in your local natural areas. Please visit with respect:

  • Keep your distance- Use binoculars to get a close-up view. If a creature changes its behavior because of your presence, you are too close.
  • Keep fido on a leash- Follow the B.A.R.K principles to keep you and the wildlife safe. 
  • Living with Wildlife- See these tips for how to avoid wildlife conflicts

Wildlife in Shortgrass Prairie Ecosystems#

The Natural Areas Department has created stickers to highlight important species in shortgrass prairie ecosystems and you can collect them all! Explore some of the unique wildlife that calls Soapstone Prairie home and to see your conservation dollars at work.

Explore Species

Learn about Northern Colorado's Wildlife#

Wildlife Checklists#

Birds of Larimer County


See the Checklist

Other Wildlife


See the List

Where to View Wildlife#

Many natural areas are great for wildlife; however, if you'd like to maximize your wildlife viewing try exploring one of these natural areas.

  • Cathy Fromme Prairie
  • Cottonwood Hollow
  • Bobcat Ridge
  • Pineridge
  • Soapstone Prairie

More Information

The Great Outdoors Is No Place For Cats#

You can protect your cat and be a responsible owner by preventing it from being lost, killed or stolen- keep your cat indoors. Youll be helping birds too. Outdoor cats kill a surprising number of birds and small mammals. The American Bird Conservancy estimates that outdoor and feral cats kill 1.4 billion birds a year. A recent study by the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute found that cats were responsible for about half the deaths of gray catbirds (Dumatella carolinensis) in a suburban environment.

Domestic cats are not part of natural ecosystems, they compete with native predators, and they can transmit diseases to wildlife. Indoor cats live longer, healthier lives.  City code section 4-93 prohibits pet animals at large, including cats. For these reasons, the City of Fort Collins Natural Areas Department encourages you to keep your cat indoors. Learn more from the American Bird Conservancy  and The Wildlife Society.