The Lead

Oh Deer: Here’s how you can help Pittsburgh collect data on urban wildlife encounters

By: - March 30, 2022 3:41 pm

Hey! Yinz crossing with the light an’at? (Pittsburgh City Paper photo).

By Jordana Rosenfeld

PITTSBURGH —  The city of Pittsburgh would like to know, on a scale of one to five, how much you enjoy seeing skunks within city limits. Do you “intensely dislike” encountering Pittsburgh’s city skunks or do you enjoy seeing them “very much”? Has a skunk ever sprayed you within city limits?

City residents are invited to complete a survey on their experiences with urban wildlife, including their pets’ interactions with them and opinions about whether people should feed birds or aquatic animals and if/how the city should manage our wild neighbors.

The survey is part of a larger research project called the Urban Wildlife Guidebook of Pittsburgh. Nicole Dugan, a graduate student researcher in Environmental Studies at Duquesne University and city of Pittsburgh intern, will be using survey responses, which are anonymous, to create a resource to support city dwellers in their interactions with urban wildlife.

Dugan told Pittsburgh City Paper in an email that after speaking with local wildlife supporters, “I realized the need for information regarding the wildlife in the city.”

She said she’s hoping for at least 500 responses and that since the survey started last week, approximately 175 people have responded.

Dugan said she hopes survey responses will help her determine what Pittsburghers want and/or need to know about living with urban wildlife. Find the survey, which is mostly yes/no questions with opportunities to expand on personal experiences, here and keep an eye out for the wildlife guide.

Jordana Rosenfeld is a reporter for Pittsburgh City Paper, where this story first appeared.

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