Magazine article Geographical

Wild Cities: New Findings Highlight the Impact of Cities When It Comes to Threatened Species Conservation

Magazine article Geographical

Wild Cities: New Findings Highlight the Impact of Cities When It Comes to Threatened Species Conservation

Article excerpt

Conservation is something normally thought of as taking place far away from urban environments, in distant places where animal species are threatened. But should efforts focus a little closer to home? That's the suggestion being made by a team of Australian environmental scientists. 'Our research suggests that actions taken to protect threatened species in cities might return better outcomes than focusing on less disturbed ecosystems,' says co-lead author Christopher Ives, a Research Fellow at RMIT University, Melbourne, at the time of the study. Ives undertook a survey of 1,643 threatened species within 99 Australian cities. With 30 per cent of threatened species found in cities covering only 0.23 per cent of the land area, urban areas supported a greater number of threatened species than non-urban areas.

'Many species favour the same environmental conditions that make human settlement attractive, such as productive soils and regular rainfall,' explains Ives. …

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