Skip to content
  • Activity
  • 15 mins
  • Level 1: Introductory

Urban habitats

Updated Sunday 17th June 2012

How do wild animals adapt to survive in our cities? We take a look at the food chains in urban environments.

This page has been archived and no longer updated. Please be aware that the information provided on this page may be out of date, or otherwise inaccurate due to the passage of time. For more detail, see our Archive and Deletion Policy

Survivors in the city

At first sight, our cities appear to be inhospitable for wild life, with so much of the land covered by buildings and busy roads. Nevertheless urban areas have been colonised by many species of plants and animals. You may have seen foxes in your local park, or observed peregrine falcons nesting on your city’s cathedral tower.

Yet how can animals such as foxes, peregrine falcons and even predatory fish such as pike, survive in our cities? Where do they find their food and shelter?

In order to answer these questions, we examine some of the city ecosystems; urban parks, canals and city centres. Our main focus is on the food chains that make up the complex food web in our urban areas.

Urban habitats

Click each image to find out more about urban habitats or to visit iSpot

How do discarded fish and chips fit into the web of urban food-chains? Copyright Dancy How does the complex web of food chains in city parks feed the red fox? Copyright Tillwe under Creative Commons license Food-chains in city canals. Creative-Commons tj. blackwell under Creative Commons license Find the latest urban observations. Learn more about wildlife, share your interest with a friendly community and get help identifying what you have seen. Copyright iSpot
Creative-Commons Background: Yersinia via Flickr
 

For further information, take a look at our frequently asked questions which may give you the support you need.

Have a question?