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New study maps most common urban animals found in Berlin

New study maps most common urban animals found in Berlin

A new study of wild animals in Berlin, Vienna and Zurich has determined the most common urban wildlife animals in each metropolis to raise awareness of species’ population decline and promote nature in urbanised areas.

Wild boar and racoons rule the roost in Berlin

In the report, the Urban Wild Animals (StadtWildTiere) project noted that each of the three cities “has its own wildlife footprint” that has continued to develop over the years. 

In Berlin, this population is dominated by wild boar and racoons. According to 2023 figures, experts estimate there to be around 5.000 wild boar and 1.000 racoons in the capital.

Zurich was named the city of badgers and red squirrels, and Vienna, the city of European hares, at least by comparison to the other metropolises. Animals specific to each metropolis, such as the European ground squirrel and the European hamster, which are only found in Vienna, were not considered in the study.

Stadttiere should be considered by urban developers, say researchers

The study wrote that the differences between the three cities can be attributed to how each has developed over the years. Among other factors, these include the density and size of housing, weather and how each city has managed its green spaces.

Historical factors were also cited as a reason for the differences. For example, Berlin’s large raccoon population can be attributed to the fact that they were introduced to then-Nazi Germany in the 1930s for their fur, before escaping captivity in the capital during the Second World War.

“Conspicuous city-specific variation of wildlife footprints [...] warrant investigations into potential underlying mechanisms related to contemporary city characteristics (e.g., size and density of settlements, mean annual temperature, green space area), geographical location and the cities’ historic development,” the organisation wrote. 

StadtWildTiere urged future urban developers in each city to consider the report’s findings in each city, and further afield.

Thumb image credit: DeVerviers / Shutterstock.com

Olivia Logan

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Olivia Logan

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