Autumn Symposium 2019
Wednesday 9 October 2019 – 9.30am-4.45pm
Urbanisation and biodiversity: can cities be made sustainable for wildlife?
Urbanisation is increasing across the globe, and is recognised as a key challenge to wildlife conservation. Not only does urbanisation directly alter habitats, but its impacts extend into the wider countryside, as transport and other infrastructures are required to sustain growing urban populations. Yet, despite being one of the most urbanised countries in Europe, only about 6% of Britain’s land surface is actually built on (9% in England). About 2.5% is classified as urban greenspace (such as parks), and there is growing interest in the value of engagement with nature for human well-being. It is also clear that for some species, urban centres in themselves are favourable habitats, with many city-dwellers feeding animals in their gardens. This symposium will assess how animals – ranging from bees to badgers — are responding to urbanisation, and consider how the growth of towns and cities can best be managed to meet the needs of both wildlife and people.
The symposium will appeal to those involved in delivering urban conservation projects, consultant ecologists and strategic planners, as well as members of the public interested in urban wildlife. It will feature the latest research on topics including the impacts of feeding wildlife; the effects of transport infrastructure on hedgehogs, bats and other species; maximising the value of greenspace for wildlife; and strategic landscape planning for biodiversity.
Speakers include: Dr Mark Goddard (University of Leeds); Prof Fiona Mathews (University of Sussex); Prof Dawn Scott (Brighton University); and Dr Herman Limpens (Dutch Mammal Society). The symposium will be introduced by the Mammal Society’s new patron, broadcaster, urban fox-watcher and children’s author, Zeb Soanes.
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