Urban Wildlife

Mule deer
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 our urban wildlife research brief »pdf

Urban Wildlife Conservation Workshops

Hummingbird / Credit: Jonathan Moran

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 and the National Wildlife Federation. Learn more »

Research Contacts

Scientist Contacts
Susannah Lerman Research Ecologist, Northern Research Station
Susan Loeb Research Ecologist, Southern Research Station
Megan Friggens Research Ecologist, Rocky Mountain Research Station
Anne Timm Research Aquatic Ecologist, Northern Research Station
Ted Weller Research Ecologist, Pacific Southwest Research Station
National Contacts
Phillip Rodbell National Program Lead, Urban Research
Monica Tomosy National Program Lead, Wildlife Research