World’s Largest Urban Wildlife Network Expands to Europe and Africa

World’s Largest Urban Wildlife Network Expands to Europe and Africa

Lincoln Park Zoo’s Urban Wildlife Information Network partners with organizations in 42 international cities to help understand and protect urban wildlife

CHICAGO (March 31, 2022) The world’s largest urban wildlife monitoring infrastructure has now expanded to 42 cities across three continents! The Urban Wildlife Information Network (UWIN) created by Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago has added partners in Freiburg, Germany and Cape Town, South Africa. The multi-city study seeks to help people and animals thrive together by gathering and analyzing data on urban biodiversity and, ultimately, discovering and applying solutions to existing or potential human-wildlife conflicts.

The addition of Freiburg, Germany (University of Freiburg) marks the network’s first European partner. Similarly, the addition of Cape Town, South Africa (University of Cape Town) marks the network’s first partner in Africa, creating a global exchange of information to help humans and wildlife coexist.

“The Urban Wildlife Information Network’s growth has been quite incredible,” says Urban Wildlife Institute Director Seth Magle, Ph.D. “When we first created the network in 2017, it was comprised of eight cities across the U.S. These new members represent a growing, global network of scientists who are committed to enhancing the ability for people and wildlife to thrive together.”

Magle continued, “From flying squirrels in Chicago to stone martens in Freiburg, Germany, the more we know about biodiversity in urban environments, the better tools we have to build wildlife-friendly cities. The possibilities on behalf of wildlife are endless.”

Launched in 2017, the Urban Wildlife Information Network is an alliance of ecologists and educators who use shared methods to collect data on how wildlife adapts to and uses cities. At each city in the network, protocols involve motion-activated cameras and/or other monitoring methods. By comparing data throughout the vast network, experts can identify the differences in animal behavior across regions and find patterns that remain consistent around the globe—thus, leading to coexistence between wildlife and people in an urbanizing world. Partners include universities, wildlife organizations, city governments, and other institutions.

For more information about the Urban Wildlife Information Network or the Urban Wildlife Institute, visit Those interested in being a part of the institute’s research efforts can help identify local species in motion-activated camera images through Chicago Wildlife Watch.

Quotes from Partners in Germany and South Africa:

“The Chair of Wildlife Ecology and Management at the University of Freiburg is excited to be the first partner from Europe to join the Urban Wildlife Information Network (UWIN),” said Marufa Sultana and Geva Peerenboom, project coordinators, University of Freiburg. “Freiburg is one of the greenest cities in the world. One question we’re hoping to answer is if some mammal species, such as the red fox and stone marten, regularly occur in urban areas. We expect that other European cities will be enthusiastic about joining UWIN, as it offers a great opportunity in urban ecological research.”

“Cape Town is one of the most biodiverse cities in the world largely owing to the presence of Table Mountain National Park on our doorstep,” said University of Cape Town Professor Justin O’Riain. “The park is a UNESCO world heritage site and one of the seven natural wonders of the world. Whether this translates into higher species richness along green belts that run from the mountain to the sea through the city remains a question we hope to answer as a partner of UWIN.”


Full List of UWIN Participating Cities & Partners

  • United States
    • Albuquerque, N.M. (University of New Mexico’s Smiths Lab)
    • Athens, Ga. (University of Georgia, Warnell School of Forestry & Natural Resources)
    • Atlanta, Ga. (The Atlanta Coyote Project)
    • Austin, Texas (St. Edward’s University; Texas Parks & Wildlife)
    • Boston, Mass. (Harvard University, Arnold Arboretum; Lesley University; City of Brockton, Conservation Commission; Trustees of Reservation; Mass Audubon; Wildlife Trust; Zoo New England; City of Cambridge, Water Department; City of Boston, Conservation Commission; City of Boston, Department of Park and Recreation; Bridgewater State University, Department of Biological Sciences)
    • Buffalo, N.Y. (Canisius College, Applied Conservation Team)
    • Chicago, Ill. (Lincoln Park Zoo, Urban Wildlife Institute)
    • Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas (University of North Texas; Fort Worth Nature Center and Refuge; Texas A&M University-Commerce)
    • Denver, Colo. (University of Colorado-Denver)
    • Fort Collins, Colo.
    • Houston, Texas (University of Houston, Biology and Biochemistry Department)
    • Indianapolis, Ind. (Butler University, The Center for Urban Ecology)
    • Iowa City, Iowa (University of Iowa, Department of Geographical and Sustainability Sciences)
    • Jackson, Miss. (Mississippi State University)
    • Lincoln, Neb. (University of Nebraska-Lincoln)
    • Little Rock, Ark. (Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, Central Arkansas Urban Wildlife Project)
    • Long Beach, Calif. (California State University)
    • Los Angeles, Calif. (Occidental College, Computation Biology; National Park Service, Los Angeles)
    • Madison, Wis. (University of Wisconsin-Madison, Urban Wildlife Project)
    • Manhattan, Kan. (Kansas State University, Ahlers Wildlife Lab)
    • Oakland, Calif. (Oakland Zoo, Conservation Society of California)
    • Pasadena, Calif. (Arroyo & Foothills Conservancy)
    • Phoenix, Ariz. (Arizona State University, Applied Ecology Lab)
    • Pomona, Calif. (CalPoly Pomona, Ortiz Lab)
    • Portland, Ore. (Oregon Wildlife Foundation; Audubon Portland; Samara Group LLC)
    • Rochester, N.Y. (Seneca Park Zoo)
    • Salt Lake City, Utah (The University of Utah, Wasatch Wildlife Watch)
    • Sanford, Fla. (Central Florida Zoo and Botanical Gardens)
    • San Francisco, Calif. (San Francisco Parks Department)
    • Seattle, Wash. (Woodland Park Zoo, Seattle Urban Carnivore Project; Seattle University)
    • Louis, Mo. (Washington University, Tyson Research Lab; University of Health Sciences and Pharmacy)
    • Syracuse, N.Y. (SquirrelMapper)
    • Tacoma, Wash. (University of Washington Tacoma; Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, Grit City Carnivore Project)
    • Urbana, Ill. (Prairie Research Institute, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Carnivore Ecology Lab)
    • Washington D.C. (George Mason University, Urban Nature Lab)
    • Wilmington, Del. (Brandywine Zoo)
  • Canada
    • Edmonton, Alberta (City of Edmonton; University of Alberta)
    • Saskatoon, Saskatchewan (University of Saskatchewan)
    • Toronto, Ontario (University of Toronto)
    • Vancouver, British Columbia (University of British Columbia, Animal behavior & cognition lab)
  • Germany
    • Freiburg, Germany (University of Freiburg)
  • South Africa
    • Cape Town, South Africa (University of Cape Town, iCWild)

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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