The most serious threat facing animal populations today is habitat destruction.
Rampant urbanization in the eastern United States has caused declines or regional disappearance in many songbird populations.
Ironically, we know little about the stability of bird populations remaining in urban centers, a situation partially due to difficulties accessing privately owned neighborhood areas where these birds exist.
Our studies in urban/suburban ecology attempt to answer two important questions:
On a societal level, another outcome of increased urbanization is an increasing level of detachment between the human population and the rest of nature, further leading to development that is insensitive to natural processes.
As a means to mitigate these effects, the Migratory Bird Center manages a citizen science project called Neighborhood Nestwatch which scientifically evaluates the impacts of urbanization on common backyard birds then educates the public about these impacts.