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Survival of the urban species

Projects to boost wildlife in cities are yielding clues to how animals and plants adapt to rapid change

By Philip Hunter   January 2011

Anyone plagued by urban foxes might not be surprised to hear that biodiversity is increasing in cities. This was the consensus at the Urban Biodiversity Conference held in Glasgow at the end of October. Even though the overall impact of humans on biodiversity is disastrous, cities are providing new opportunities for wildlife through habitats such as parks, allotments, railway embankments and cemeteries. How and why some species thrive in close proximity to humans, while others don’t adapt fast enough, is the question that conservationists are trying to answer.

Although urban habitats cannot on their own offset the impact of human…

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