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Wild Animal Neighbors

Sharing Our Urban World
Written by: Ann Downer
Narrated by: Intuitive
Length: 1 hr and 16 mins

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Publisher's Summary

What would you do if you found an alligator in your garage? Or if you spotted a mountain lion downtown? In cities and suburbs around the world, wild creatures are showing up where we least expect them. Not all of them arrive by accident, and some are here to stay. As the human population tops seven billion, animals are running out of space. Their natural habitats are surrounded - and sometimes even replaced - by highways, shopping centers, office parks, and subdivisions. The result? A wildlife invasion of our urban neighborhoods. 

What kinds of animals are making cities their new home? How can they survive in our ecosystem of concrete, steel, and glass? And what does their presence there mean for their future and ours? Join scientists, activists, and the folks next door on a journey around the globe to track down our newest wild animal neighbors. Discover what is bringing these creatures to our backyards - and how we can create spaces for people and animals to live side by side.

Please note: The original source audio for this production includes noise/volume issues. This is the best available audio from the publisher.  

©2017 Ann Downer (P)2020 Lerner Digital ™

Critic Reviews

"Within each chapter is a list of facts and a little background or history of the animal and its new urban environment. There is an interesting discussion of adaptations the animal has made to survive, the traits that have either created success or failure in an urban environment, and some of the studies that have been done about the creatures. Depending on the animal, they are seen either as pests (crows) or something to be protected (loggerhead sea turtles); material about efforts to change human behavior to save the animals or change animal behavior to save the humans is included. Living with wildlife is a fact of our lives, and this successful book is worthy of a spot on any library shelf." (School Library Journal, starred)

"Wild animals are increasingly sharing human urban and suburban spaces around the world. Using the examples of black bears, raccoons, mountain lions, coyotes, turtles, and alligators in this country, crows in Japan and flying foxes in Australia, along with plentiful photographs, this title introduces some surprising wildlife neighbors. Downer, the author of Elephant Talk (2011), clearly explains how these animals have come into our backyards. Often, it's because we came into theirs. Sometimes, it's because we've provided easy food pickings and appealing places to live. An epilogue suggests measures humans can take to help our species coexist with theirs. Ample documentation and further resource suggestions will help readers wanting to know more. An unusual issue set forth clearly and concisely for middle school and high school readers." (Kirkus Reviews)

"Downer profiles eight species of animals that frequently come into contact with urban or suburban humans and explores the reasons why their territories overlap with humans, the problems that result, and the efforts being made to solve those problems. The animals profiled (raccoon, mountain lion, coyote) are mostly found in North America, but a look at jungle crows in Japan and gray-headed flying foxes in Australia offers some international fare as well. The content holds obvious appeal, and Downer's presentation is clear and engaging. The story of Adrian, a coyote who wandered into a Chicago Quizno's sub shop will intrigue rural and urban kids alike, as will the account of 21 alligators being caught in a 10-day span in a town in Texas after flood conditions encouraged the gators to become more active in their movements. An epilogue and map in the back point to other significant urban wildlife situations; source and photo notes, bibliographies, and an index are also included in this useful and thought-provoking book that will prove to be a hit with city-dwelling animal lovers and wannabe wildlife scientists." (The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books)

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