Re-integrating Wildlife into Urban Areas

Inhabitat wrote about a new design concept for a green roof aviary by Ballistic Architecture Machine (BAM). BAM’s green roof would support a “functioning biotope for migrating birds.” According to Inhabitat, BAM wants to implement their concept aviary along the Atlantic Coast Flyway, which is overlooked by the Goldman Sachs Headquarters in Lower Manhattan. “It is intended to be a rest area for birds and insects traveling along the Atlantic Coast Flyway. The aviary spans 70,000 square feet of roof and vents, into a park that is truly intended for just twelve species of birds.” 

Inhabitat says the design was created with the assistance of ornithologists from Harvard and Cornell Universities. The bird-attracting green roof would be attached to a twelve story building, and filled with soil, water, gravel and other materials designed for birds. Webcams would be placed in the structure to allow researchers to monitor its usage. Read the article and an earlier post on biodiverse buildings.

Separately, in a project that is underway in Berkeley, California, goats have been introduced in the Oakland and Berkeley hills to fight forest fires. According to Tom Klatt, the former manager of the Office of Emergency Preparedness at UC Berkeley, and author of UC Berkeley’s 2007 Fire Mitigation Program Annual Report, “the goat clearance scheme is one of the key reasons the Bay Area hasn’t had a recurrence of a catastrophic fire in decades.”  However, E-magazine notes that goats can also have a negative environmental impact, if left unmanaged. “These agile animals have been known to reduce or eliminate entire populations of native plants and facilitate soil erosion and the establishment of invasive plants. According to Professor Josh Donlan, the director of Advanced Conservation Strategies at Cornell University, ‘Non-native herbivores, like feral goats, are responsible for widespread ecosystem degradation and biodiversity loss on islands around the world.'”  Read the article

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