The Special Licensing Unit is responsible for issuance of licenses for private possession and commercialization of live wildlife. “Wildlife” includes both indigenous and exotic species as defined by the statutory definition of wildlife under 33-1-102 (51). The only species of wildlife that are excluded
from the Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s (CPW) regulatory control are those species that appear under the “domestic” and “unregulated” lists in Chapter 11
of the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Regulations. Those species on the unregulated and domestic lists may be possessed without a license and may be held as pets. No other species of wildlife
, indigenous or exotic (including those that have been commercially raised), may be held as pets in the State of Colorado.
CPW also has biological reasons to control the possession of live wildlife. If escape of an exotic animal occurs, there is the potential to hybridize with a native species; cause habitat destruction; or compete for habitat space with native species. Captive raised wildlife also poses the potential threat for the introduction of disease into native populations. With all of these factors combined, CPW faces a complex set of issues in dealing with the management of privately owned wildlife.