Magazine article International Wildlife

NWF's Smart Growth Campaign Targets Impact of Urban Sprawl on Wildlife

Magazine article International Wildlife

NWF's Smart Growth Campaign Targets Impact of Urban Sprawl on Wildlife

Article excerpt

Protecting wildlife and habitats at greatest risk from uncontrolled development on the outskirts of U.S. cities is the goal of NWF's new Smart Growth and Wildlife campaign.

Sprawl is one of the leading causes of species decline in this country, notes John Kostyack, NWF attorney and endangered species expert. At risk are well-known species such as the Florida panther, black-tailed prairie dog and Pacific salmon, as well as numerous less appreciated species such as the giant garter snake and the southwestern Arroyo toad. According to scientific experts, one-third of the nation's animal and plant species are at risk of extinction.

"Often, it's not enough just to preserve open space," Kostyack says. "We also need to create reserves for active management of wildlife and protect watersheds in order to preserve freshwater ecosystems."

As part of its campaign, NWF will hold workshops around the country that will bring together experts in wildlife conservation, land-use planning and grass-roots organizing to devise regional-development strategies that take the needs of wildlife into account. …

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