The United States, as well as most developed and many developing nations worldwide, is becoming increasingly urban and suburban.Although urban, suburban, and commercial development account for less than one percent to just over 20% of land use among states, 50-90% of the residents of those states can be classified as urban or suburban dwellers. The population of the U.S. as a whole has risen from being > 95% rural in the 1790s to about 80% urban-suburban today. With these changes in land use and demographic patterns come changes in values and attitudes; many urbanites and suburbanites view wildlife and nature differently than rural residents. These are among the challenges faced by wildlife biologists and natural resource managers in a rapidly urbanizing world. In 2003, we convened a symposium to discuss issues related to suburban wildlife. The papers presented in this special issue of Urban Ecosystems address the lessons learned from the early and recently rapidly expanding literature, the challenges we face today, and the opportunities that can help deal with what is one of the biggest challenges to conservation in a modernizing world. ?? 2005 Springer Science + Business Media, Inc.