Jul 012011
 

foragings wideNews

  • A bird sanctuary in the city:: This is a really interesting look at habitat on the Ateneo Loyola Heights campus in Manila in the Philippines with a surprising number of birds found just steps from the buildings on campus. It also acts as one of the few green corridors in the city and as a valuable educational tool and several participants in recent bird walks included a diversity of attendees including faculty, students and administrators.
  • Water firm’s special thank you gift to city school pupils:: Another article about campus habitat, this time in the form of a pond which provides habitat and a valuable learning opportunity for the primary school students.
  • New ‘landscape scale’ approach to conservation:: This insightful article from the Telegraph discusses the shift in conservation from simply fenced-off nature reserves to instead thinking of a large scale landscape approach where everything is connected. This new approach looks more closely at roadsides and other pathways as movement corridors and neglected land, parking lots and abandoned industrial sites for potential habitat.
  • BBC wildlife survey asks commuters to record sightings:: A very interesting project from the BBC  Wildlife Magazine which wants drivers, train riders or other commuters to report sightings of all the wildlife they see during their daily commutes. The magazine plans to report on the findings in a later issue.
  • Sydney imposes cat curfew to protect wildlife:: In an effort to help protect brushtail and ringtailed possums, a local government is imposing a cat curfew due to the fact that the cats are known to climb trees and night and kill the possums, resulting in a significant number of wildlife deaths.
  • Introducing a natural history GCSE would give us a greener future:: This article about introducing a General Certificate of Secondary Education in the UK opens a larger discussion of the importance of teaching natural history classes on a broader scale to all levels of education.
  • Norfolk Wildlife Trust survey reveals urban jungle:: In another program which makes me envious of the UK, the Norfolk Wildlife Trust collected over 1,200 individual wildlife records over a 24-hour period finding well over 700 species in the city.
  • Purple Martins Nesting in Street Lamps:: Another show of the resilience of wildlife species, these Purple Martins were found nesting in broken street lamps in the middle of a parking lot in Delaware.
  • Drawing up long distance map for bee roads:: This is a fascinating idea to connect more habitat by corridors along roads and other areas on farms to help bees move through various habitats
  • Powers of Green:: Cityscape of the Future:: Landscape ecologists are having an increasingly greater role in the design of the landscape, and for good reason, they understand the value of natural systems. This article touches on their role in the landscape, the Sustainable Sites Initiative, LEEDS and the future of land use.
  • Pitsea landfill site creates wildlife habitats:: Even landfills can offer habitat and this article is a fascinating look at one and how it has inadvertently created unique habitat for a variety of species.
  • Cohabitating with Raccoons:: An interesting blog post from  the Envision Pigeon blog about our blind spot for raccoons.
  • On the Road: City gone Wild:: This is an insightful article and video documenting a nature spot in the middle of Calgary.

Resources

  • The Chorus of the Chorus Frogs:: A fascinating post from the Northwest Nature Notes blog, courtesy of the Slater Museum of Natural History, which describes the spring call ritual of the male Chorus frogs.
  • The spotted cucumber beetle:: Another urban species profile, this one is from the Urban Wildilfe Guide blog and features a common beetle which often guilty of eating many parts of plants including fruit, stems and leaves.
  • A Different Ladybug:: Also from the Urban Wildilfe Guide blog, this post features a European lady beetle which is now found in North America.
  • Pollination from the plant’s perspective:: This is an interesting article from the Ecological Society of America featuring pollination from the plant’s view. It discusses the benefit of pollinator relationships and highlights some examples such as the agave-bat partnership.
  • Picky Pollinators: Native U.S. bees are selective about where they live and feed:: Another pollinator article, this one features a study which demonstrates the difficulty in predicting the relationship between plants and bees and the complex web of relationships of specialists and generalists.

Design

  • Unicorn Green Roof Manchester:: This living roof profile features a roof with a limited load bearing building but still includes landscape biodiversity in the form of piles of logs and even more interesting, a wetland pond.
  • High Notes | New Art on the Highline:: The Highline in NYC has a new art installation that also provides shelter, baths and feeding platforms for birds, bats, insects and butterflies in the form of a metal and wood structure. “Emerging from the shooting perspective lines of the landscape of the High Line, the sculpture extends through space like a perspective drawing in three dimensions.” Read more about the project on the Highline website.
  • Monist Kingdom:: A fascinating post from the Animal Architecture blog, this students drawings are phenomenal and detailed.  They each focus on a kingdom such as fungi, animalia or plantae and show how diverse and yet connected everything is.
  • Artist Creates a Floating Garden Habitat for Wildlife:: This interesting art installation brings an interesting element to a waterway, awareness of habitat and wildlife as well as creating a microhabitat and refuge for aquatic species.
  • Fish Hotel:: We’ve discussed insect hotels, but this hotel is for fish in Chicago. The raft spends the summer tied up in downtown Chicago and consists of a vegetated surface and protective cribs underneath which offers fish protection from current, boat waves and the sun.
  • Hotel Ushüaia Low-Tech Vertical Garden:: This is an interesting green wall in Spain which acts as a sound barrier for hotel guests. The wall consists of dozens of rows of terracotta pots embedded into the wall and planted individually. Over-sized ants climb up along the border of the wall as well.
  • Bus Shelter in Philly Gets a Mini-Green Roof:: A demonstration project, this bus shelter now has a 60 square foot and features a downspout to illustrate water, or a lack of, coming off the roof during wet weather.
  • Let’s Remake: Bat Houses:: This art project installed a network of bat houses in Urbana, Illinois in part to help the existing bat population but also to “begin a conversation about re-making the built environment”.

© 2011 – 2014, Kelly Brenner. All rights reserved.

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About the Author

Kelly Brenner writes The Metropolitan Field Guide, a blog for ideas, thoughts and resources for the design of urban wildlife habitat. She earned a degree in landscape architecture from the University of Oregon.

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