UWIN Transect

Using NYC’s first camera trap monitoring transect, this project investigates how wildlife presence , specifically mid-sized mammals (mesomammals), changes across levels of urban intensity in NYC to better understand the city’s human-wildlife interaction and zoonotic disease risk landscape.

As NYC continues to invest in regreening, sightings of local wildlife, such as deer and foxes, are increasing in number. This increase in urban wildlife is a sign of a healthy ecosystem and can restore a sense of nature to our urban lives. However more frequent interactions with urban wildlife can also result in property damage from species attracted to humans associated food sources and transmission of diseases, like rabies and Lyme. To prepare New Yorkers to coexist with wildlife responsibly, it is important to understand which species are present and where. Because raccoons and other mesomammals generally avoid humans or have nocturnal activity, it can often be unclear which spaces they are present in or are likely to occupy. Therefore camera traps can be used to study their activity across greenspaces to predict patterns of dispersal and mitigate conflict. The urban wildlife information network (UWIN) provides a camera trapping transect design for cities across North America to monitor local wildlife distributions across urban gradients. In collaboration with UWIN, we have established a transect across green spaces from Brooklyn to Nassau County and Staten Island to address this knowledge gap in NYC.

The UWIN network