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Wildlife in the city: human drivers and human consequences

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Lerman, Susannah B.; Narango, Desiree L.; Andrade, Riley ; Warren, Paige S.; Grade, Aaron M.; Straley, Katherine

Year Published

2021

Publication

In: Barbosa, Pedro,¿ ed. Urban ecology: it¿s nature and challenges. Boston, MA: CABI Publishing: 37-66.

Abstract

The urban development process results in the removal, alteration and fragmentation of natural vegetation and environmental features, which have negatively impacted many wildlife species. With the loss of large tracts of intact wildlands (e.g. forests, deserts and grasslands), and the demise of specific habitat features (e.g. early successional habitat or native plants), many specialist species are filtered out from urban ecosystems. As a result, some argue that urbanization has a homogenizing effect on wildlife communities. However, these general patterns belie a high degree of variability in urban biodiversity patterns. In this chapter, we focus on vertebrate and invertebrate species that contribute to urban fauna (hereafter 'wildlife'). We review how wildlife species have responded to altered conditions of the urban environment, with a focus on the environmental features and species traits that filter wildlife communities from the regional scale to the city scale. We also focus on how built structures, species interactions and socio-cultural factors further influence the local species pool. Within this context, we assess the ecosystem services and disservices provided by urban wildlife, how management decisions are shaped by attitudes and exposure to wildlife, and how these decisions then feed back to the local species pool. By understanding why some animals are better able to persist in human modified landscapes than others, land managers, city planners, private homeowners and other stakeholders can make betterinformed decisions when managing properties in ways that also conserve and promote wildlife.

Citation

Lerman, Susannah B.; Narango, Desiree L.; Andrade, Riley; Warren, Paige S.; Grade, Aaron M.; Straley, Katherine. 2021. Wildlife in the city: human drivers and human consequences. In: Barbosa, Pedro,​ ed. Urban ecology: it​s nature and challenges. Boston, MA: CABI Publishing: 37-66.​​ Chapter 3.

Last updated on: December 29, 2020