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Flourishing Things: Urban Ecology

Wildlife isn’t only restricted to rural areas or areas that we categorize as “nature.” The urban environment is full of animals of all shapes and sizes. Considering the fact that human environments and dwellings have displaced the natural environment and continue to do so through urban sprawl, it is not surprising that we live in a shared environment. Taking a closer look at your surroundings will reveal the wide variety of wildlife in your backyard including birds, squirrels, rabbits, raccoons, deer, and many more depending on your geographic region.

Lyanda Linn Haupt’s book called “The Urban Bestiary” focuses on the convergence between human environments and wildlife habitats. Haupt describes the flora and fauna that she observes within her Seattle backyard and how they contribute to the functioning of the ecosystem. This book highlights a “new” concept of nature which doesn’t belong to remote areas but is visible in our everyday lives. Her book offers tips and tricks to help readers take notice of the species that inhabit their surroundings and become a “backyard naturalist.” It really is possible to be connected to nature even when living in the city. We only have to pause and observe the animals that have adapted to the urban habitat.

Exotic or uncommon animals can also be seen within an urban environment due to the presence of urban safaris and rescue shelters. These non-profit organizations rescue and provide shelter for injured, abandoned or unwanted exotic animals. These organizations provide visitors with education about the animals and the conservation efforts associated with each species. The Urban Safari Rescue Society, located in British Columbia, provides people with volunteer opportunities, children’s summer camps, educational programs, and tours. Visiting an urban safari or rescue shelter is a great way to explore the different species located within the urban environment.

Lyanda Lynn Haupt - The Urban Bestiary

Urban Safari Rescue Society

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