Wild Boulder

Utilizing citizen science to document local wildlife and help land managers improve open space, while deepening community respect for nature

Long-eared Owl © Melanie Hill

The Opportunity

It’s no secret that Boulder County is home to some of the most diverse wildlife in all of Colorado. At least 64 mammal species, over 100 breeding bird species, more than 200 butterfly species, and countless reptiles, amphibians, and insects have been documented to date. Like many other cities across the globe, the Boulder landscape and its wildlife are experiencing a number of threats from a changing climate, fracking, human development, and more. We need help understanding how these changing conditions are affecting our wildlife.


By building relationships between urban residents and land managers through citizen science engagement, Wild Boulder is recruiting and mobilizing new advocates for nature. This collaborative team utilizes iNaturalist, an online network that provides a platform for participants to record their wildlife observations. By taking and uploading photos, species identifications, geographic locations, observation dates, and other relevant notes, citizen scientists can assist open space experts as they create a database of wildlife in the area and a plan to protect their habitats.

Discover more about Wild Boulder

The Boulder County Wildlife Project, nicknamed “Wild Boulder,” is a call for community members to take an active role in protecting our open spaces and wildlife. By participating as citizen scientists, individuals will provide local land managers with a stronger understanding of where and when these animals are being observed, and what they need to thrive in this unique ecosystem we call home.

Join the project on iNaturalist


Utilizing citizen science to document local wildlife and help land managers improve open space, while deepening community respect for nature.

Be safe. Keep wildlife safe. 

Boulder County Wildlife Project-backThe Boulder County Wildlife Project on iNaturalist is not a site for reporting issues with wildlife. Please report sick or injured wildlife to Animal Control in the City of Boulder (303-441-3333) or Boulder County (303-441-4444).

When observing wildlife, always:

  • Follow all rules and regulations posted at each property.
  • Never harass or change the behavior of wildlife in any way. Watch from a distance and do not disturb their normal behavior.
  • Observe animals from a safe distance. If the animal appears nervous, points its ears towards you, or runs away, you are too close.
  • Do not disturb nesting birds, which may cause them to abandon their nest.
  • Do not feed or approach animals, or call animals to you. Try to avoid eye contact, especially if they get alarmed.
  • Respect all wildlife closures, posted on trailhead kiosks and in brochures.


More tips available here

City Nature Challenge 2018

From April 27-30, Boulder participated in the 2018 City Nature Challenge, a 4-day bioblitz where 68 cities across the globe competed to see who has the most nature. 108 of Boulder’s citizen scientists documented 3,500+ plant and wildlife observations and documented nearly 800 species throughout the region!

Overall, 17,329 participants from 68 cities across the globe documented 441,888 observations of plants and wildlife, and identified 18,116 species! Collectively, our cities made 4,075 research grade observations of 599 rare, endangered, and threatened species globally, and added over 100 new species that had not previously been recorded on iNaturalist ever!

View our photo album on Facebook and visit this page for more details about Boulder’s City Nature Challenge festivities.


See how Boulder did

A collaboration through the City of Boulder Open Space & Mountain Parks, Boulder County Parks & Open Space, and WILD Foundation

This partnership represents a local commitment to the concept of citizen science, which seeks to increase the pool of data available to scientists while also giving laypeople an opportunity to participate in research. The Wild Boulder team uses this citizen science program to connect residents to our environment, and unite them in a common effort through numerous digital and in-person educational opportunities.

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