Urban Ecology

Students in a geography class completed two separate projects for Iowa City. The first project focused on the ecological functions of roadside vegetation in Iowa City, including identification of roadside land area in the city that can be prioritized for re-planting and re-design as native vegetation areas. The second project focused on urban raptors. Students used transects to record the abundance and distribution of urban raptors in Iowa City and also collected information on landscape features such as tree cover and habitat connectivity to associate with the observations of raptors.

Urban raptors and roadside vegetation are two areas of particular interest to the City of Iowa’s City’s urban ecology work. Roadside vegetation, if converted from resource- and time-intensive species to native species, can help support the resilience of the urban ecosystem and save the City money and time in management and maintenance. The distribution and abundance of urban raptors throughout Iowa City indicates valuable information about the landscape and is useful for conservation and biodiversity efforts.

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