Urban Animals Cant Take the Heat, Study Finds
A warming climate could make cities even less hospitable to wild mammals, according to new research.
Dont let the rats fool you. Although the pizza-pilfering vagabonds and a variety of other creatures thrive in cities, for many wild animals urban environments are unappealing homes, covered in concrete and carved up by car traffic. As buildings go up and roads are laid down, some species seem to vanish from the landscape, and animal communities often become less diverse, scientists have found.
But not all cities are created equal. Urbanization appears to take a greater toll on wild mammals in hotter, less vegetated locales than in cooler, greener ones, according to a new study, which was published in Nature Ecology & Evolution on Monday. The findings suggest that climate change could exacerbate the effects of urbanization on wild animals.
As our climate warms, the heat of our cities is something that is going to continue to be a challenge to both us and wildlife, said Jeffrey Haight, a postdoctoral scholar at Arizona State University and an author of the new study.