8 Animals of the City - List, Characteristics and Importance

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Beyond dogs, cats and pigeons, among other common ones, in cities we see more and more different animals. Through the years we can see that more and more species of wild animals are found in the city. Due to the destruction of their natural habitats, animals are forced to migrate to cities, where they have no choice but to adapt to the urban ecosystem. Of course, the species will vary depending on where we are talking about.

If you are interested in discovering what animals can be found in a city, from Ecologist Verde we encourage you to continue reading this article in which you will learn a lot about city animals and its importance.

Mountain sparrow

The mountain sparrowXenospiza baileyi), It's one of the Mexico City animals, more precisely the south of said city. It is characterized by being a small bird that feeds on small insects and seeds. Its habitat is cold and dry grasslands in height, however, due to the destruction of its environment it has been moving towards the cities.


The buzzard or black american vultureCoragyps atratus) is a symbol of the Lima city, Peru, since it is the protagonist of numerous myths and legends. The gallinazo is a large bird and, if you visit Lima, you may see it posing on poles or trees. They have an important role within urban ecosystems since their diet is based on feeding on carrion, therefore it helps to keep the city clean.


We can not only find birds within urban animals. For example, in the city of Rio de Janeiro In Brazil, it is common to find monkeys, particularly those marmoset monkeysCallithrix jacchus) and cappuccino (Cebus nigritus). Both species of monkeys coexist and their populations are established in the nature reserves that the city has, although they are frequently found in streets and homes in search of food.


On the other hand, within the city fauna we can find butterflies. If we talk about the city animals in Argentina, we can mention several species of these insects. The city of Buenos Aires in Argentina, it has a considerable number of butterfly species that have adapted to the ecosystem of the city. Among them we can mention the citrus butterfly (Papilio thoas), Common Lemon butterfly (Eurema deva) and Argentine flag butterfly (Morpho epistrophus argentinus), among other species. These species have adapted to obtain food from ornamental plants, which explains their presence in the city.

Discover the Characteristics of butterflies by reading this article.

Eastern squirrel

The New York City in the United States, it is the habitat of the emblematic eastern squirrelsSciurus carolinensis). Precisely, most of the specimens of this species are found in the Central park, the immense public park located in the center of the city. This park is the place of thousands of squirrels that are characterized by being good tree climbers and by possessing sharp teeth that allow them to break hard shells like walnut shells. They are curious and sociable with humans.

Brown lizard

There are many city animals in Spain, beyond the usual domestic. For example, if you are looking for animals on the streets of Barcelona, Spain, you may come across the brown lizardPodarcis liolepis) native to southern France and northern Spain. It is a small lizard with some brown tones on its back, hence its name. It feeds on all kinds of insects and arachnids and is frequently found in parks, gardens and even indoors.


Bats are another example of animals that we can come across in the middle of the city. In particular, there is a curious case, in which the mouse tail batTadarida brasiliensis) has established a colony with thousands of specimens in a public building in the Rosario city, Argentina. Therefore, it is very easy to observe them in this city, mainly during the month of November when pregnant females arrive to give birth and breastfeed their young.

Importance of the city's animals

If you made it this far, you may have noticed that there are a wide variety of animals that adapt to urban life and they can coexist peacefully with people. Animals in the city are not only important for their simple existence but also for the benefits that their presence brings. Next we will tell you some of them.

  • They are pollinating agents: birds, insects and some mammals such as bats pollinate plants found in cities. Here you can read about pollinating insects: what they are and their importance.
  • They are seed dispersers: those animals that eat fruits promote the dispersal of seeds. Squirrels, for example, are good dispersers as they hide nuts to ensure future food, but they end up consuming only a small fraction of what they hide. The rest germinate and give rise to new seedlings.
  • They keep cities clean: As we mentioned with the American vulture, the species of scavengers feed on dead animals and decomposing remains. In this way, they keep cities clean and contribute to the cycling of matter.
  • They are vector control agents: Those animals that eat insects, such as birds, lizards and more, function as vector control, that is, they control the populations of insects that transmit diseases to humans.

If you want to read more articles similar to City animals, we recommend that you enter our category of Animal Curiosities.

  • Barcelona Biodiversity Atlas. Recovered from: https://ajuntament.barcelona.cat/atlesbiodiversitat/es/
  • Mattoni, R. & Vannucci, N. (2008). Butterflies of the Garden of Buenos Aires. Lepidopetera Research Found.
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