Urban Wildlife

Mule deer
iStockphoto
Thoughtful, sustainable urban planning can help cities become healthy habitats for native wildlife.

Protecting and restoring wildlife habitat in our cities and suburbs is a vital component of wildlife conservation. Urban wildlife habitat can support habitat connectivity within ecological landscapes and serve as a refuge for species impacted by urbanization. Local land and water conservation projects can provide important urban wildlife benefits and connect our growing urban population with nature, potentially broadening support for natural resource conservation nationwide.

Forest Service scientists use animal behavior analyses, species population surveys, quantitative studies, and computer modeling to determine how urbanization strategies can best meet the needs of native wildlife. Research focuses on several key areas: (1) measuring species diversity, abundance, and behavior in urban areas, (2) understanding the effects of development and habitat fragmentation on species populations, (3) improving wildlife habitat in human-dominated landscapes, and (4) examining human perceptions of urban wildlife habitat and stewardship experiences.

View or download our urban wildlife research brief  »pdf

Urban Wildlife Workshops: Wildlife Conservation in Cities and Suburbs

The Forest Service brings a diverse set of conservation interests together with leading experts each year at the North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference, in partnership with the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies, the National Wildlife Federation, and Texas Parks & Wildlife. During a half-day session, speakers and participants explore urban wildlife conservation issues and strategies, funding opportunities, sustainability initiatives, successful partnerships, and the latest in urban wildlife research.