This paper analyzes human-animal landscapes within an urban setting. I use a historical ecology approach to discuss the formation of (post)modern landscapes in the twenty-first century Los Angeles. The historical approach is necessary to make informed decisions for habitat restoration, and to map out human influences on natural ecosystems (Egan and Howell 2001). In the process I discuss strategies for a new urban wildlife theory. Conflicts and encounters between humans and non-humans can be more intense and controversial in a city. Because cities are usually seen as human-only landscapes, urban wildlife is more marginalized there than anywhere else. This is especially relevant in Los Angeles, a prime example of unchecked growth that brings more urbanites to the periphery and into contact with wild animals. For that reason I maintain that an urban setting is ideal for wildlife conservation and creating more egalitarian human-nonhuman relations and for breaching of traditional boundaries of exclusion. The definition of urban, in this paper, includes areas within city limits, as well as areas outside: suburbs or urban fringe. With growing urbanization and the spread of built-up areas all over the world, there remains no choice but to create more hospitable conditions for wildlife within the city, if we want to preserve the wellbeing of individual animals or entire species and ecosystems. I am interested in various qualities in urban landscapes that would create these conditions.


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pp. 56-72
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