Urban wildlife management: forming an Australian synthesis
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This chapter is a response to Recher's call that, “somebody needs to pull together those common themes and come up with a common strategy for managing wildlife in the urban environment”. The diversity of chapters herein provided the editors with a rich source that lead into the web of current ideas surrounding the topic. To examine the origin and development of current ideas, we conducted a search of books and journals and found that the content is mainly of a practical, and not theoretical nature, neither is it integrated across the disciplines from art to architecture. Managing urban native species includes managing them as urban pests, such as the common brushtail possum whose populations are literally going through the roof. Birds seem ideally suited to an urban lifestyle because they can fly in and out of backyards and remnant bush, but only some species have become the “winners” in an urban environment while others have become the “losers”. Urban fauna includes endangered populations of animals in specific localities, and in such cases a supportive local community is vital to their long-term survival. Twenty years ago it would have been inconceivable that an insect ecologist be part of a forum on urban bushland fauna. Now it is unimaginable that such a specialist would be absent. There has been a proliferation of studies, ideas, position statements, web pages, courses and a collective recognition of the value of urban wildlife over the last two decades. Many local and species-specific strategies are already taking shape, reflecting a diversity of opinions and viewpoints. We look forward to the next critical decades in the evolution of a thriving discipline of urban wildlife management and offer this book as a contribution towards the formation of an Australian synthesis on the subject.