Lincoln Park Zoo and City of Chicago Help People and Animals Coexist

Lincoln Park Zoo and City of Chicago Help People and Animals Coexist

New Chicago wildlife plan released

CHICAGO (January 26, 2022) – Lincoln Park Zoo’s Urban Wildlife Institute (UWI) partnered with the City of Chicago and Chicago Animal Care and Control (CACC) to establish an innovative, humane, and science-based wildlife management plan to enable human and wildlife coexistence across the city’s diverse urban spaces.

Developed by a leading research network of UWI scientists, the new Chicago Wildlife Management & Coexistence Plan equips the public and city officials with approaches to more humanely cohabitate with, respond to, and facilitate a thriving urban ecosystem across the city. This plan also serves as a template for other major cities across the country to model in the pursuit of responsible, urban wildlife conservation.

“Wildlife plays a critical role in urban environments, and as a research team, we use science-based approaches to enable our coexistence with wildlife, ensuring both humans and animals can thrive in our cities,” said Seth Magle, Ph.D., Director of the Urban Wildlife Institute at Lincoln Park Zoo. “We were honored to collaborate with the city on this plan and provide our Chicago neighbors with practical and humane approaches to preserve wildlife. Whether it is a skunk in your yard or a deer in your alley, this new plan provides the tools to observe and respect the wildlife in our own backyards.”

As major urban networks like Chicago continue to grow, a variety of species have adapted to these built environments and require innovative approaches to maintain healthy coexistence. These animals include:

  • Bats
  • Bees
  • Canada Geese
  • Chipmunks
  • Coyotes
  • Deer
  • Opossums
  • Rabbits
  • Racoons
  • Red Foxes
  • Rock Doves
  • Skunks
  • Snakes
  • Squirrels (Fox & Gray)

“Anyone in Chicago – and any city – can begin taking small steps towards improving interactions with urban wildlife as early as today,” said Mamadou Diakhate, Executive Director, Chicago Animal Care and Control. “It can be as easy as properly stashing your trash, keeping your distance when possible, limiting your footprint in green areas, and using city resources like 311 to protect and preserve the wild animals in Chicago.”

The City of Chicago has embraced its role as a hub for wildlife, demonstrated by its clear commitment to expansive green space, conservation, and coexistence policies. Reflected in Daniel Burnham’s visionary plan for the city, Chicago has been at the forefront of integrating nature into our urban ecosystem and has prioritized expansive recreation and green space for decades. The city now boasts an unusually large variety of wildlife populations when compared to most other major cities and is committed to the conservation of this wildlife. These efforts can be seen in initiatives, including the Lights Out Chicago program, a first in the nation approach to protecting migratory birds and bats who traverse the city during migration periods.

The Chicago Wildlife Management & Coexistence Plan can be found on the Chicago Animal Care and Control website here. Learn more about Lincoln Park Zoo’s Urban Wildlife Institute here.

About Lincoln Park Zoo

Lincoln Park Zoo inspires communities to create environments where wildlife will thrive in our urbanizing world. The zoo is a leader in local and global conservation, animal care and welfare, learning, and science. A historic Chicago landmark founded in 1868, the not-for-profit Lincoln Park Zoo is a privately-managed, member-supported organization and is free and open 365 days a year. Visit us at

Media Contacts

Jillian Braun

Lincoln Park Zoo

Anna Cieslik

Lincoln Park Zoo

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