The percentage of the world's human population living in urban environments is projected to increase from 47 percent in 2000 to 61% in 2030. The corresponding figures for Europe are 72% and 80% respectively. Urban environments are therefore of increasing g lobal and European significance from an ecological point of view. Although the net effect of urbanisation on biodiversity is negative, some species prosper in urban environments. Many people regard such species as a welcome contributor to quality of life b ut to some they are a nuisance, owing to the damage that they cause or the risk that they pose to human health or safety. Consequently, the presence of urban wildlife leads to conflicts of interest. Novel management strategies, that take into account the i nterests of both humans and wildlife, require urgent development. This project will investigate the behaviour and ecology of urban badgers in a locality that has recently become a hot-spot for badger-related problems. The project will bring Dr M. Huck to w ork with Prof. T. Roper, a leading UK mammal researcher. Badgers are chosen as the target species because they exemplify many of the problems relating to urban wildlife: they are legally protected and are popular with the public, but urban populations are responsible for an increasing number of complaints from householders. The project aims to model the geographical distribution of urban badgers, determine the minimum behavioural and ecological requirements of urban badgers, and develop management recommend ations based on this information. The project will help us to understand how the special features of urban environments impact on the behaviour of an important species and will constitute a model for dealing with other problems involving urban wildlife. Th e project will provide Dr Huck with scientific and complementary training enabling her to become an independent researcher in an important and rapidly developing field.
Field of science
- /social sciences/social and economic geography/urban studies
Call for proposal
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