By Alice Clifford via SWNS
Rewilding our cities could reduce the disastrous impacts of climate change, a new report reveals.
The study shows how increased urban rewilding efforts could boost wildlife and buffer city dwellers from the worst impacts of climate change, such as heatwaves, forest fires and flooding.
Rewilding is a way of restoring nature and biodiversity in an area by letting nature take care of itself, reviving natural processes.
Dr. Nathalie Pettorelli, lead author and climate and biodiversity expert at the Zoological Society of London's Institute of Zoology, said: "Giving nature freer rein across our cities could not only help to buffer them against extreme climatic events such as storms, floods and heat waves, by helping to cool them down and create natural flood defenses but also help boost urban wildlife via habitat creation."
Habitat creation and urban wildlife are crucial in the fight against climate change, as it helps protect, enhance and restore habitats.
This year, Eurasian Beavers have been reintroduced into a woodland enclosure in North London, UK, after being absent for 400 years.
The furry additions are set to help restore natural habitats and even reduce flood risk in the city.
While foxes are a common site in our cities, other animals have made unexpected appearances.
Two species of seahorses and hundreds of seals now call the River Thames in London their home.
In 2019, the Zoological Society of London counted 932 harbor seals and 3,243 grey seals in the water.
And bison have just been reintroduced to woodland in Kent, UK, where they have been absent for 6,000 years.
Rewilding could be used in private gardens, green spaces, urban waterways, estuaries, wetlands, and even railways.
It doesn't matter how small the patch is, every green space can help.
Dr. Pettorelli said: “Wildfires, floods and heatwaves across the world have brought the climate crisis to the fore for many people this year.
"The interconnection of the climate crisis with the loss of nature is thankfully now widely recognized and rewilding is an approach being increasingly embraced."
Rewilding has also been seen to improve mental health, as it gives people an opportunity to be more engaged with nature.
The mental health charity Mind has said: "Spending time in nature has been found to help with mental health problems such as anxiety and depression."
The study reveals that by 2050, two out of three people will likely be living in cities or other urban environments, meaning incorporating rewilding now could have a huge impact on thousands of people.
The concept has already been successful in Germany and Singapore, where they have seen a hugely positive impact from rewilding.
In Singapore, the iconic Gardens by the Bay includes 18 fake super trees, some reaching 160 feet, that mimic normal trees by absorbing heat, filtering rainwater and providing shade.
They are also now home to around 158,000 living plants, allowing nature to take back control.
Dr. Pettorelli said: "The large-scale rewilding of urban spaces, including creating nature corridors and wild spaces around city infrastructure, is something that has so far been relatively overlooked as part of the solution.
“This is the first report of its kind to lay out a roadmap for rewilding our cities and we believe this is a high-impact solution to jointly address the climate and biodiversity loss crises in a low-cost, hands-off way."
While rewilding has been proven to benefit the environment and the individuals who live in it, researchers still urge caution.
Dr. Pettorelli said: "Large-scale rewilding should be done with expert guidance as ultimately, well-meaning but misguided efforts could actually lead to further biodiversity loss and increased threats to public health through invasive species, disease transmission from wildlife as well as further exacerbating social inequalities."
With reintroducing new species, disease risk assessments must be done to ensure that the animal is safe in its new home and that its new home is safe from the animal.
Dr. Pettorelli added: “For the rewilding of urban spaces to work, we need the buy-in and support of policymakers, funders, conservation scientists and of course, local communities.
"There’s so much that the everyday person can do to support a positive change. For example, by leaving part of your garden wild, and avoiding artificial turf and pesticides we can all do our bit to secure a future where wildlife and people thrive.”
Stories and infographics by ‘Talker Research’ are available to download & ready to use. Stories and videos by ‘Talker News’ are managed by SWNS. To license content for editorial or commercial use and to see the full scope of SWNS content, please email email@example.com or submit an inquiry via our contact form.
Ducks spotted swimming in flooded backyards in Florida
"Waters continue to rise. Streets are impassible all around me."
Should calorie labels include the amount of exercise required to burn off food?
A packet might read: “calories in this cake requires 90 minutes of walking to burn off.”
Scientists think life may be lurking in this place on Mars
Is there life on Mars?
This robot named Cassie broke a 100-meter sprint record
“This 100-meter result was achieved by a deep collaboration between mechanical hardware design and advanced artificial intelligence for the control...
Watch firefighter rescue Florida woman trapped in submerged car after Hurricane Ian
Many places in Florida saw severe flooding, sweeping away cars and structures and washing out roads.
- Fashion & Beauty2 days ago
Influencer shares trick to curling hair without curling iron
- Home1 day ago
She lives in such a remote place it takes 10 hours to get groceries
- Outer Space3 days ago
Astronaut takes enchanting picture of ‘space angel’
- Tech1 day ago
‘World first’ hybrid seaglider vehicle completes test flights
- Food & Drink2 days ago
Where is the ‘hangriest’ place in the United States?
- Outer Space1 day ago
Otherworldly images captured at SpaceX launch
- History1 day ago
Research reveals humans used ‘high-tech’ glue 100,000 years ago
- Pets4 days ago
Nearly 80% say the best part of their day is coming home to their pet