Our Zoopolitan Future: Making Cities Safe for Wildlife

Great read by Richard Conniff-

strange behaviors

After a major cleanup effort, beavers have returned to the Bronx River. (Photo: Robert McGouey/Getty Images) After a major cleanup effort, beavers have returned to the Bronx River. (Photo: Robert McGouey/Getty Images)

My latest column for Takepart, the website of the movie company Participant Media:

When conservationists worry about the prospect of a world without wildlife, they often focus on two related developments: the sprawling growth of crowded cities and suburbs, and the push to farm more land, and farm it more intensively, to feed those cities. Together, these two forces have worn the natural world down to tattered remnants.

So it may seem contradictory to suggest that cities can also be part of the solution. But conservationists, who used to focus on protecting landscapes that were pristine and full of wildlife, now often work instead to improve the margins—to make roadsides, backyards, idle fields, and working waterfronts wildlife-friendly. They argue that with a little effort, cities can provide habitat for birds, butterflies, pollinators…

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