, Volume 8, Issue 2, pp 139-156

Urban wildlife ecology and conservation:A brief history of the discipline

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Abstract

Urban wildlife ecology and conservation is a discipline worldwide in scope. Although some attention was given the subject in the early to mid-1900s, most activity in the field is of more recent origin. Many European countries have active programs and activities, including the United Kingdom-Man and the Biosphere (UK-MAB) Urban Forum and The Wildlife Trusts of England, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization's MAB Program, and urban ecology research in Germany and Poland. The Netherlands' concept of “ecological landscapes” introduced a new approach to design of urban open space. Durban, South Africa followed with “D'MOSS,” a metropolitan open space system founded on the principles of island biogeography theory. The park connector network of Singapore combines principles of conservation biology and landscape planning. Urban wildlife programs and activities exist in the United States at the federal, state, and local levels as well as in private conservation organizations. The Wildlife Society established an Urban Affairs and Regional Planning Committee in the mid-1970s that later became the Urban Wildlife Committee and then evolved into the Urban Wildlife Working Group. Urban wildlife research is providing knowledge of wildlife and plant populations and communities in urban areas that hopefully will lead to better understanding and greater sustainability of urban ecosystems.