We live on an urban planet.
Although cities are built for people, wildlife make homes in them as well. Some species have always lived in urban areas, including pigeons, squirrels, and mice, but others have adapted to cities more recently, such as coyotes, foxes, and raptors. These species can inspire and fascinate us, helping to enrich our urban experience. However, they can also create conflict with humans and unexpected ecological interactions.
Every urban region is different, and each has its own unique suite of wildlife. Until recently it has been impossible to make comparisons across cities because there was no shared methodology, no mechanism for sharing data, and no framework for urban wildlife researchers to compare their findings. The Urban Wildlife Information Network (UWIN) was created as an alliance of urban wildlife scientists committed to doing the research necessary to enhance the ability for people and wildlife to coexist in cities.
We are seeking partners in cities around the world as we build the first global network collecting urban wildlife data. This network will provide the tools that scientists, city planners, and wildlife managers need to understand, conserve, and manage wildlife on an urbanizing planet. UWIN currently uses camera traps to observe wildlife patterns in city landscapes, though other methods can be incorporated into the study design (e.g. bird counts, bat monitoring, etc.).