Podcast Explores Wildlife You Wouldn’t Expect to Find in Philly and Beyond

Photo illustration | Alyse Moyer

Photo illustration | Alyse Moyer

It may be hard to believe, but urban wildlife extends far beyond subway rats and cockroaches. Local nature nuts, Billy (aka Bernard) Brown and Tony Croasdale, launched the Urban Wildlife Podcast on July 1st. The podcast focuses on obscure critters that share our home and even wonder city streets when we’re not looking.

Brown and Croasdale talk with some of the region’s renowned wildlife brainiacs and prove that you don’t have to off-road the Serengeti to interact with fascinating creatures. “There is great stuff to treasure close to home, even as close as our backyard,” says Brown. The podcast covers a wide range of topics that aims to surprise and educate. Listen as Brown and Croasdale delve into the secluded life of urban coyotes, and discuss the overlooked yet still captivating history of sidewalk plants.

The podcast explores a variety of species, yet aims to encapsulates overarching themes and even explore wildlife outside Philadelphia. “In our first episode the uniting theme was really just big animals that tend to get super close to human populations,” Brown explains. The first podcast examines whales that live just off the coast of New York City of all places. If you find that surprising, you’ll really get thrown for a loop when you hear the episode about pythons. That’s right, Bangkok pythons are slithering around the sewage systems of Southeast Asian cities.

Each episode features experts in the field who contribute invaluable banter for listeners to relish. “We try to bring in people from different backgrounds who can provide insight on diverse topics.” Brown and Croasdale have hosted Philly folks from Wild West Philly and the Academy of Natural Sciences.

Since 2004, Brown has been herping (excavating the area for reptiles and amphibians). He started to document his findings around Philadelphia in his blog, Philly Herping, and he’s written for numerous publications, including ours, about his experiences. “I would write about the different wildlife and it got me interested in learning more about natural history of where we actually live … the podcast is sort of another medium to look at more work by different scientists and environmentalists.”

“We want to have the subject matter be broad and inclusive enough that anyone who digs nature can find something to turn them on to other angles,” says Brown. Fans of the show can look forward to about 8 or 9 more episodes this season (posted here). Upcoming topics will explore invasive species, sidewalk plants and more.