Bringing Research and Business Together for Colorado
National Wildlife Research Center (NWRC)
4101 LaPorte Avenue
Fort Collins, CO 80521
970.266.6000 (phone)

National Wildlife Research Center

The National Wildlife Research Center (NWRC) is a major facility within the U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service's (APHIS) Wildlife Services program. The National Wildlife Research Center is devoted to resolving problems caused by the interaction of wild animals and society. NWRC is headquartered on the Foothills Research Campus of Colorado State University in Fort Collins.

The National Wildlife Research Center was founded in 1886 as the Division of Economic Ornithology and moved from Albuquerque to Denver in 1920. It became part of the US Fish and Wildlife Service in the 1940’s and was transferred to the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 1985. The NWRC and Colorado State University have had a cooperative research agreement since 1990 and NWRC has constructed facilities on the CSU campus.

Mission and Objectives

NWRC develops wildlife damage management methods in the following areas:

  • Damage assessment
  • Investigation of the biology and behavior of problem animals
  • Evaluation of the impact of management practices on wildlife and the environment
  • Development and improvement of management technologies
  • Investigation of potential applications of new management technologies
  • Support of registration of chemicals and drugs used to manage wildlife
  • Transfer of scientific and technical information
  • Provision of scientific guidelines on wildlife damage for use by regulatory agencies
  • Development of cooperative research and training with other organizations
  • Responsiveness to needs of user groups and the public

The Center evaluates damage situations and develops methods and tools to reduce or eliminate damage and resolve land-use conflicts. NWRC scientists study birds, mammalian predators, rodents, and other wildlife that cause serious but localized damage problems. The Center designs studies to ensure that the methods developed to alleviate animal damage are biologically sound, effective, safe, economical, and acceptable to the public. NWRC scientists produce the appropriate methods, technology, and materials for reducing animal damage. Approximately two-thirds of NWRC's 150-person staff is located in Fort Collins; the remainder are located throughout the United States to address regional wildlife damage management issues. NWRC routinely conducts international consultancies in this specialized area.

NWRC staff specializes in the following disciplines:

  • Animal behavior/psychology
  • Animal care
  • Archives management
  • Chemistry
  • Computer science
  • Ecology
  • Economics Electronics
  • Genetics
  • Immunology
  • Information transfer
  • Pharmacology
  • Physiology
  • Quality assurance Statistics
  • Toxicology
  • Veterinary medicine
  • Wildlife biology
  • Wildlife disease
  • Zoology

Research Areas

  • Blackbird management in the United States
  • Biotechnology and immunocontraceptive vaccines for overabundant animals
  • Predator depredation on domestic animals and threatened and endangered species
  • Ecology of coyote depredation
  • Mammal damage to forest resources
  • Integrated pest management strategies for rodent damage to crops and rangeland
  • Bird predation at aquaculture facilities
  • Registration of chemicals and drugs as management tools
  • Taste and olfaction in selected wildlife species for development of nonlethal chemical repellents for birds and mammals
  • Wildlife hazardous to aviation
  • Chemical control methods for the brown treesnake on Guam
  • Role of wildlife in disease transmission