Anyone who’s had a near-miss with a deer while driving in Rock Creek Park knows that Washingtonians share the city with a population that extends beyond human residents. To anyone wandering those woods on a fine spring day, sighting the same deer can evoke the calm and restorative force of the natural world.
How we co-exist, interact with, enjoy, and benefit from the District’s wildlife offers exciting challenges for the future. For wildlife biologist John Hadidian, that future depends on both governments and residents promoting greater respect and understanding for wild animals and their role in how nature in all its forms is integrated into city life—particularly as more species adapt to living in close proximity to humans.
Hadidian, who has more than 30 years of experience working with urban wildlife, discusses the types of wildlife that live in the District; species that are of concern, as well as those we can encourage and provide for; local research and management programs; and what to do when you encounter wildlife in your home or yard.
He covers efforts including research into the activities and behavior of urban raccoons, deer, Canada geese, beaver and foxes among others, zoonotic diseases, such as rabies, transferred between humans and animals; citizen-science surveys of bird populations; and emerging concepts such as the Biophilic City movement that embraces the role of nature in the city.
He also covers local conservation and management success stories, such as the creation of the DC Wildlife Protection Act and the work of City Wildlife, whose programs focus on rescuing and rehabilitating sick, orphaned, and injured animals in the District.
Hadidian is the former director of urban wildlife programs at the Humane Society of the United States. He served as chair of the Wildlife Society’s urban wildlife working group, a member of the Man and the Biosphere’s Human-Dominated Systems Directorate, and the regional wildlife biologist at the National Park Service’s Center for Urban Ecology.
The Earth Optimism Summit will be a gathering of thought leaders, practitioners, pioneering scientists and researchers, environmentalists, artists, civic leaders, industry participants, media, philanthropists, and other conservation-minded citizens to discuss and share solutions. What are the best minds, boldest experiments, and most innovative community practices telling us about how to preserve biodiversity, protect natural resources, and address climate change? Learn more about Smithsonian Conservation Common’s Earth Optimism summit, April 21-23, 2017.
S. Dillon Ripley Center
1100 Jefferson Dr SW
Metro: Smithsonian (Mall exit)