The totality or pattern of relations between organisms and their environment.

Root word: oikos, Gr.

Oikos: The ancient Greek word oikos (ancient Greek: οἶκος, plural: οἶκοι; English prefix: eco- for ecology and economics) refers to three related but distinct concepts: the family, the family's property, and the house.

So, what is the house that we now call home? In an immediate sense, it is Ruffner Mountain itself, including every living organism (this is us too) and non-living natural elements. More broadly, it is the entire city of Birmingham, including the land, its resources, and the people who live there. And further still, it is our planet, including all living things and natural elements. Plants, animals, weather, humans, what humans build and develop, how we affect nature through our actions, how we affect one another, and finally, how we understand all of those relationships are all "ecology." 





What wildlife can be found on Ruffner Mountain?
Ruffner Mountain is home to a variety of different urban wildlife species such as raccoons, foxes, coyotes, snakes, and birds. In fact, RMNP is one of the best birding sites in Alabama! All wildlife on Ruffner Mountain is protected. No killing of any wildlife species on RMNP is permitted. Remember, if you leave it alone, it will leave you alone.


Does Ruffner Mountain take in abandoned or injured wildlife such as birds, raccoons, rabbits, and etc?

While Ruffner Mountain has given a home to several animals who, due to imprinting or injury, cannot survive on their own in the wild, Ruffner is legally unable to accept any wildlife drop offs. There are, however, two wildlife rehabilitation facilities in our area that does: for mammals, Wild Mammal Care of Alabama (205) 871-7803 and for birds, Alabama Wildlife Center (205) 663-7930. If you are unsure who to call or need some advice, feel free to call up at our main desk.

I have some urban wildlife in my yard and would like some advice/information about them. I would also like help identifying wildlife species, or finding out what dangers they present to me and my family. Can you help?

Absolutely. Please call our main line and dial extension 16 or ask for the Wildlife Curator Chivon. She will be able to answer many of your questions as well as give you more resources of people to contact or helpful literature on the subject.