What used to be woods or fields are being turned into cities to cater to the human population that demand more urban locations to live in. The animals endemic in these areas remain despite the establishments that sprung up in their homes and come up with ways to coexist with humans and the structures they build. Unfortunately, humans aren’t as adaptable as our furry and feathery friends are. Finding out that a raccoon decides to make a wall space their home or birds nesting on a chimney necessitates intervention – and too often it is through inhumane ways.
John Griffin is back, this time around to talk about urban wildlife. John is the Senior Director of Urban Wildlife Programs for the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). A veteran in the field of wildlife, John worked with a range of species – from squirrels and bats to great apes.
On this course, John unpacks humans’ conflict with wildlife, urban wildlife ecology, and animal behavior just to name a few. Points he tackled on this session include:
- The extent of urbanization and how it impacts wildlife diversity.
- How wildlife conflicts arise due to animals’ adaptability and human oversight on education, practices, engineering, and systems employed.
- Statistics that highlight the prevalence of wildlife conflicts in urban areas based on animal control calls for service.
- The range of commercial urban wildlife control being applied.
- Videos that exhibit typical wildlife conflicts.
- Urban dwellers’ area for improvement when it comes to understanding wildlife.
- The root of the wildlife conflict: Animals attraction to a location where they can source food and take care of their young.
- The raccoon to human population ratio that illustrates how people coexist with wildlife unknowingly.
- How humans typically respond to wildlife conflict by trapping the animal and other lethal removal methods that leave the root of the issue unresolved.
- Best practices when it comes to wildlife conflict response based on understanding the animals’ life dynamics.
- How structural designs bring conflicts by allowing animals to enter and den/nest within the buildings.
- Other key points to consider to understand animal behavior including:
- Animals’ adaptability to the environment they’re in.
- Practices and errors that allow wildlife to come in conflict with humans.
- The concept of a home range where mammals stay within to den.
- Long-term and humane solutions to manage wildlife conflict.
- Questions raised during the Q&A were on:
- Species mentioned in the webinar.
- Animal control’s duty to respond to wildlife calls for service.
- Educating communities to better understand wildlife behavior.
- “Fantastic presentation with very engaging photos and videos! It’s clear that wildlife are here to stay, and consider urban environments to be home much as humans do.”– Caleigh
- “I appreciate the message that the wildlife belong in urban areas alongside the people. They are not strangers in a strange land.” — Kay
- “John’s videos are great and showed urban wildlife in action.” — Lauren