It’s not just sewer rats, pigeons and cockroaches that thrive in cities these days.  According to a recent post in Catch The Buzz at, “surprisingly high numbers of plant and animal species persist and even flourish in urban environments.”  I’m not a city girl and I wouldn’t want to see this world turned into one great urban community, but it’s nice to know that natural selection is still alive and well and that living things continue to adapt to their environment just as Darwin proposed in his theory of evolution.

Green spaces in cities have become refuges for native species and migrating wildlife.  Wander through Central Park some spring day and you’ll understand why this is called the Central Park Effect.  Of course, biodiversity in cities isn’t limited just to parks.  Red tailed hawks and peregrine falcons roost on windowsills and ledges, honeybees flourish on rooftops, evening primrose and joe pye weed grow in vacant lots.  Madhusudan Katti, a faculty member at California State University says, “this can be a cup half-full or half-empty scenario.   If we act now and rethink the design of our urban landscapes, cities can play a major role in conserving the remaining native plant and animal species.”

I don’t advocate churning up the rest of this Earth for the needs of humans.  We’ve have taken more than our share in the name of progress.  We would be wise to find a new definition of progress, one that keeps pace with the needs of the rest of the living things, instead of zig-zagging ahead like that crazy rabbit intent on beating the tortoise but who ends up losing in the long run.

Photo courtesy of Andrew Cote at