Driving into Metro Denver last week, I heard on a radio program that most wildlife rescue centers have closed along the Front Range. Lack of funding, an overwhelming influx of wildlife "victims" and conflicts with rules established by the Department of Natural Resources were all given as reasons for the closures.
Unfortunately, responding to humanized nature programming and with limited understanding of natural ecosystems, many citizens have taken it upon themselves to rescue stranded, abandoned or injured animals, especially small, cute babies. Though well intentioned, their action overwhelms rescue center resources and disrupts nature's web of life. While human activity is no doubt responsible for increasing the incidence of injury to wildlife, we compound the problem by creating an unnatural system of care and re-release, often merely delaying the death of the animal.
In my opinion, we should concentrate on protecting as much natural habitat and open space as we can and work on minimizing our impact on natural ecosystems; otherwise, we should leave nature and her creatures alone. After all, nature is neither fair nor sentimental and the death of young animals is vital to the overall welfare of her realm. As part of that realm, it is best that we not try to manage or disrupt it.