Urban areas are a major form of novel ecosystems and are rapidly increasing in size, offering an ideal opportunity to examine the ecological and anthropogenic drivers of species distributions globally.
The mission of UrBioNet is to:
- Expand global coverage of databases from initial efforts of a 2011 National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) working group to include more cities in realms with rapid urban growth and low data availability, such as Africa, South America, and Southeast Asia;
- Engage scientists and managers globally to compile and synthesize datasets on taxonomic groups in cities with an initial focus on bats, birds, freshwater fishes, insect pollinators, and plants;
- Identify generalities on the patterns and processes shaping urban biodiversity across the world’s cities and across different taxonomic groups;
- Quantify the relative importance of physical, climatic, and social factors in driving patterns of urban biodiversity;
- Develop recommendations for monitoring biodiversity in urban areas, to accommodate differences in city size, culture, bioregion, funding capacities, and education level of citizens;
- Share findings and data with students and practitioners in land management, urban design and planning, and policymakers as well as the scientific community.
UrBioNet seeks the participation of researchers, students, and practitioners who are interested in urban biodiversity. Network activities include working groups, opportunities for graduate and undergraduate students, symposia at international meetings, and workshops.