Urban Mammal Behavior Adaptation



Ritzel, Kate

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As humans continue to engineer and expand urban ecosystems, extant wildlife is increasingly exposed to novel pressures that drive changes in their spatial and temporal patterns, foraging tactics, anti-predator strategies, and other behaviors. Such behavior shifts can increase the potential for conflict with humans and present other challenges to the survival of urban species. Though behavior change in some urban taxa are widely studied, research on changing behavior in urban mammals is limited. Through systematic literature review, chapter one reveals how wild urban mammals are adjusting their behavior and explores the implications of urban-induced behavior adaptation. Chapter two seeks to address the knowledge gap on behavior change in the northern raccoon (Procyon lotor) through a comparative behavior analysis of populations in urban Washington D.C. and rural northern Virginia. Results highlight the need for long-term wildlife behavior studies across a variety of urban settings to promote successful urban wildlife management and conservation.



Wildlife behavior change, Human-dominated systems, Urban environment, Raccoon, Comparative, Urban-induced adaptation