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CPW: Colorado saw fewer human-bear conflicts in 2023

Bear rips off car bumper to get to doughnuts
Posted at 5:45 PM, Feb 26, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-26 20:13:44-05

DENVER — Colorado Parks and Wildlife reported Monday a decrease in human-bear conflicts in the state last year.

The agency said the drop in sightings and conflicts is likely due to good natural food production compared to previous years.

CPW said the agency received 3,526 reports of sightings and conflicts with the state’s estimated 17,000 to 20,000 bears in 2023, which is a 21% drop from the average number of reports received in 2019 – 2023.

“Of the 3,526 reports CPW received in 2023, 1,795 resulted in property damage to a shed, garage, home, vehicle, fence, etc. Around 92 percent of property damage reported from bears is linked to an attractant of some kind, with over 51 percent linked to trash, 20 percent to livestock, chickens and beehives, and 19 percent to bird seed, pet food, barbeque grills, coolers and refrigerators,” the agency wrote in a news release.

The wildlife agency’s northwest region, which is home to state’s largest bear population, received 1,228 reports in 2023, a 35% reduction from the previous year.

Despite good natural forage in the area, an unreasonable number of bears were reported entering homes, CPW said.

The wildlife agency said most of the reports involve bears trying to access human food sources and they are urging residents to remove attractants to reduce conflicts.

Below is the number of reports and bears euthanized and relocated by CPW annually since 2020:

  • 2023: 3,526 reports, 33 relocated, 63 euthanized
  • 2022: 4,147 reports, 59 relocated, 94 euthanized
  • 2021: 3,598 reports, 51 relocated, 66 euthanized
  • 2020*: 4,806 reports, 118 relocated, 158 euthanized

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