In your opinion, do cultivated areas (gardens, urban parks, farms) count as nature?

My front yard is planted with mostly native trees and shrubs but they’re not natural by most definitions as I and previous homeowners put them there. The birds attracted to the yard, and to the non-natural feeders and water source I put there, are mostly native with a few non-native established species. The insects drawn to the flowers in summer are mostly native, as are the lizards that use the vegetation and structures in the yard as cover. And the weeds I pull up are mostly non-native but with a few native. I consider all of it nature even if it is, in part, not natural.

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For anyone who is not sure whether gardens really do count as nature preserves, please watch the video at this link:

Here is the Zoom link to last night’s talk on Wildlife Gardening by Steve Head:

https://ukri.zoom.us/rec/share/r0K_kb6_hKo9fL0EfufdQOZ0lIcZky33xAV6eNDJQTZP9LYLJiiUIVyN5JvuFzaJ.Y-QHlDAX2jfRMku2

Use the Passcode: GK.27Z3E

One more link - https://www.iucn.org/content/protected-landscapes-and-agrobiodiversity-values-1

My perspective leans to how nature makes me feel. I find spending a little time in an old growth forest to be amazingly salubrious. Depending on the actual setting, I get a similar (though perhaps less intense) feeling from parks or nice yards. I even get a boost from my small patio garden.

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Welcome to the Forum. Always lots of interesting topics to chime in on!

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Absolutely!

It is hard to see in this photo, but if you zoom in, you can see tons of metal spikes set into the concrete ostensibly to keep birds from nesting inner parts of the overpass. Many businesses put these spikes on their signs so birds do not defecate all over…I cannot find the photo now, but it was a Jack in the Box or something, and a bird had made a proper nest in amongst the metal spikes. There is a flock of pigeons that live in this overpass. Despite humans’ “best” intentions-- as you can see, the other thing in the photo is a homeless person’s possessions. I think the money spent on trying to keep birds from using the overpass could have been better spent on helping the humans that live among us! It is mind-boggling.

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Oh, yes! The observations of cultivated specimens are certainly allowed. They should be marked as captive/cultivated in the checklist at the lower part of the input form. Those specimens do not reach Research Grade, however, they are still valuable.

As for Ferals and waifs, there are a number of topics that discuss the nuances of the Captive/cultivated notation. Regarding plants, my take is generally, if it was not planted nor tended by a human, it could be considered wild. I forget the finer points about whether feral dogs and cats are considered as wild (though, feral domestics are not really wild, imo).

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So many species extinctions. I don’t think we should call degraded sites, nature.

A writer known as Sever wrote in the anarcho-primitivist publication Black Seed: “The wild is everywhere, ceaselessly pushing back; all it needs from us is cracks.”

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Like this?

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Yes, exactly! I think it’s hilarious. “bird-brains” indeed!

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yes it count as nature

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Welcome to the forum! Yeah, I’m in the same camp - I put gardens and parks on the Nature spectrum.

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I think a good example are botanical gardens. By definition, they’re shaped by people, and often bear very little resemblance to the natural ecosystems that once could be found where they stand. And yet, Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden (near Cape Town) has an eBird list of 190 bird species. Cairns (Queensland) BG has 230 species, Rio de Janeiro BG has 294.
Even more impressive, the famous Roger Ahlman had the first sightings of Warbling Vireo and Philadelphia Vireo for the country of Ecuador, both of them at the Quito Botanical Garden!
And without even going to the tropics, I saw over a hundred bird species at the Missouri Botanical Garden when I was living in St Louis, not to mention turtles, garter snakes, the countless butterflies, and a resident fox family.
Now of course, these are no subsitute for the truly wild places, whose diversity can be orders of magnitude greater. But I’m still amazed at all the elements of wilderness that can thrive in these man-made gardens.

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You can look up observations for my home ZIP code (75248). None of the area is “wild”; at best there’s kind of a tiny green belt that snakes around parts of the neighborhood and a few small parks with playgrounds and such.

There’s 82 species of birds, 22 species of herps, 9 species of mammals (and I’ve seen fox as well but haven’t been able to photograph them), 4 species of fish, 346 species of inverts recorded. And plants of course (more of them introduced than native I think).

So…yeah, if they’re living freely I’d count the critters as wild. The plants are a bit more difficult–were the trees in the parks planted there by Dallas Parks or where they there wild already when the park was built? I do not know. I know they do maintenance on them though.

Ditto of course all the random plants you find in alleyways and such.

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I had searched around Itasca State Park for quite a while, looking for a Maidenhair Fern. Then I went to Vienna, Austria to visit my son a few years ago, and was wandering through the Belvedere Arboretum, when I found their North American fern garden. There it was! I don’t think I would post that on iNat, which would imply that this is a natural occurrence, nor would I expect that people would post planted specimens in parks, but it’s still nature and fun to find in that strange way.

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Mark as casual / cultivated.
When the distribution maps are off (for my iNat usage) I try to resolve the obviously wrong. Is it cultivated in a garden? Yesterday an obs with red autumn leaves was IDed as our Brunsvigia … landed at random in the USA.

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In “The Botany of Desire”, Michael Pollan marvels at the fiendishly clever corn plant co-opting the tastes of a great ape to induce it to disseminate corn seeds in vast fields and destroy all competitors - giving corn a kind of worldwide dominance. When we plant a garden, Mr. Pollan avers it is fair to ask whose genes are manipulating whose, in the great struggle for existence.

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Especilly in nature recovery projects with native species.
Also backyards with native species and big biodiversity are NATURE in urban áreas.
Bringing nature into urban áreas can only be effective if plants are plantaed.
Native plants but not only can bring back and enhance nature in urban áreas.
City Nature, must consider planted antive and non native plants.

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Big monocultures are not nature.
Multybiodiverse cultures and forest are in between. They need nature to exist. But if tehi are considerard nature? Its a problem. I Must have more discussion about it!
Backjards, gardens and urban arborization are clearly nature.

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