Monday, January 12, 2009
To help keep from expanding the list of endangered and extinct species, many nature conservation organizations have focused on creating urban habitats that are inviting to wildlife. "Wildlife shouldn't be treated as if it shouldn't exist in a city," says Peter berg, director of San Francisco's Planet Drum, an ecological education group. "Wildlife is the biological monitor of the health of our cities." Some animals have already successfully made the move into cities across the United States: The endangered peregrine falcon has established itself on high rises and feasts on pigeons; many fish, frogs, and salamanders are quietly flourishing in city ponds; and even deer, raccoons, and coyotes have made a home in local parks. Fostering wildlife is as easy as planting certain flowers in backyards or creating a niche with water and sufficient shelter on front porches. The National Wildlife Institute for Urban Wildlife are also working on the creation booklets with tips for individuals, schools, or other organizations.