APGD Community Wildlife Habitat

“We have this idea that there’s the urban world and there’s nature. We’re the only species that looks at landscape that way,” said Dr. Eric Strauss, executive director for the Center for Urban Resilience at Loyola Marymount University-Los Angeles. “It’s not like when a bird flies into Boston, it goes, ‘I’m in a city now.’ We changed this landscape. It’s all still nature, it’s just not nature as we remember it.”

 

Sharing our city blocks with trees and birds and animals is a good thing. As strange as it sounds, urban wildlife helps control the spread of diseases typically passed from animals to humans, Strauss said. As areas urbanize, he said, top-order predators like wolves and mountain lions are pushed out, creating a pressure release on middle-sized predators like coyotes and foxes. These meso predators “play a really important role in urban areas,” Strauss said, helping reduce the reproductive success of feral cats, which in turn allows bird populations to recover. And birds, as we know, eat the insects that tend to transmit diseases to humans.

- Steve Holt, City Lab