Take Action With Us
Observe Don't Disturb
Observe wild animals without feeding or touching them. Keep wildlife safe by keeping your distance.
Participate in Chicago Wildlife Watch
Scientists are only just beginning to get a picture of which species live in cities and why. Through Chicago Wildlife Watch, you can help Lincoln Park Zoo identify animals from all over the city from your own computer or phone. This information helps planners design cities that function better for humans and wildlife.
Limit Your Footprint
When visiting natural areas, gardens, and the beach, stay on the path to avoid stepping on plants and disrupting wildlife. When traveling between areas, ensure that shoes and recreation equipment are clean of soil, seeds, and other unwanted hitchhikers to avoid the spread of disease or invasive plants.
Stash Your Trash
Urban animals can grow dependent on garbage—if it’s accessible. Check your garbage cans or dumpsters for holes or other damage. If there’s a problem, either replace your garbage containers or contact your city or waste disposal company to fix the issue.
Build Wildlife Habitats
Turn your yard into a wildlife habitat. Planting native plants, like milkweed, can help wildlife thrive, and adding trees and shrubs creates a diverse, multi-layered habitat. If you don’t have a yard, you can garden in planters on your deck. Or, you can reach out to your local schools or community gardens, which might make a space for other species in your neighborhood. Plants benefit the ecosystem no matter where they grow.
Spread the Word
Tell friends and family, both in conversation and on social media, how small lifestyle changes benefit local wildlife. Follow the zoo’s social media channels to see relevant updates on how you can Take Action With Us, and share those updates on your channels.
Caring for Local Wildlife
Lincoln Park Zoo’s Animal Care staff care for several local wildlife species. During warmer months, the zoo even hosts a colony of wild black-crowned night herons that live in the treetops above Pritzker Family Children’s Zoo.
Managing Nature Boardwalk
The zoo manages Nature Boardwalk, a fully functioning ecosystem completed in the summer of 2010, by removing invasive species and conducting an annual floristic survey, which allows Horticulture staff to optimize plant diversity. This lush, natural, prairie-style garden is filled with native plants and brimming with birds, frogs, fish, turtles, insects, and other wildlife. Our Urban Wildlife Institute and Learning team use this space as a living laboratory and classroom for studying local wildlife.
Studying Local Wildlife
The Urban Wildlife Institute and Davee Center for Epidemiology and Endocrinology study local carnivores, bats, small mammals, birds, and other wildlife. Their work has revolutionized conservation strategies for wildlife around the world.