Monday, February 27, 2017

Effects of Urbanization on Mammal Species in the U.S.

Due to a rapidly growing population in the San Antonio and Austin areas, urbanization in central Texas has developed quickly over the past few years. Although current nature preserves live alongside these urbanized areas, it's important to research whether the development on the land will still have an impact on these mammals.

A study was conducted where researchers filmed with motion-activated cameras at 72 sites across 6 different regions throughout Austin and San Antonio. Ten different urbanizing factors were considered when concluding the influence of urbanization on medium-sized mammal species.

It was concluded that even though urbanization is ongoing and will develop over the years, natural preservations continue to provide a habitable area for many species. None of the 7 species studied showed a negative correlation with urbanization. This study highlights the importance of green spaces and natural havens to keep species thriving.

Haverland, M. B., & Veech, J. A. (2017). Examining the occurrence of mammal species in natural areas within a rapidly urbanizing region of Texas, USA. Landscape and Urban Planning157, 221-230.


  1. Interesting study, I wonder if limiting implications for protection to "medium-sized mammals" misses the larger picture of overall ecosystem health. Even in assessing the well being these mammals it is necessary to consider the health of their food sources (smaller invertebrates, amphibians, reptiles, and vegetation) to accurately assess long-term population condition. Is it possible that these other components of near-urban ecosystems are more greatly affected by being in close proximity to high rates of human activity?

  2. It is interesting that the rapid growth in these regions hasn't affected mammals like one would assume. However, this is for medium-sized mammals. I wonder if it is different for the species that do not fall into this category but still have an impact on our ecosystems.

  3. In addition with the problem of selective data as touched on in the other comments, this article fails to convey the abiotic effects of urbanization and increased human interaction with the environment. By recording these abiotic factors the overall effects of urbanization on the adjacent land can be observed rather than a specific class of species.