In recent years reports of wild creatures in odd locations are now quite common. Packs of coyotes prowling the hills outside (and inside) of Los Angeles encourage people to build tall walls or fences around their homes. In the eastern portion of america, homeowners often spot deer on their suburban lawns.
Twenty years back, sightings of wild creatures generally happened in environmentally appropriate places. When I was growing up in the late/mid twentieth century, the sight of a fox or deer was a thrill to be associated with wonderful excitement. Nowadays, the deer wander behind shopping centers and garden shops on the outskirts of cities.
Why are these wild animals invading highly populated areas? The answer is straightforward. The building boom of the 1980’s and 1990’s ate into outlying areas, producing huge tracks of housing developments in rural regions. The people who moved into the new homes needed schools, hospitals, and shopping centers so even more property has been paved over. Animals with survival skills learned to live with people, streets, and populated locations.
As rural areas filled with bulldozers and noisy building equipment, a number of the wild creatures fled the disturbance. They moved towards the towns, traveling across the green, wooded paths near highways. After in the suburbs, they found several sheltering trees and shrubbery. Deer located gardens. Foxes dined on rats, mice, and the occasional rabbit. Hawks trolled back lawns searching for bird claws or hung out near the highways looking for unwary mice or rats.
Obviously, some incursion of wildlife has been helpful to suburban regions. Raccoon Poop shows their food preferences are good for the neighborhood. But once those beautiful deer start munching on the azaleas , they are no longer so appealing.
Coyotes, in the west in addition to the eastern coyotes who have improved their range greatly, consume vermin, but may gobble up the family cat or a small dog.
The loss of habitat in the usa is an old story. Bison and elk lived on the East Coast, though they have smaller versions of the western cousins. The colonists soon cleared away the forest for farms, homesteads, and the burgeoning timber business. Trappers went into the forest to harvest animals’ furs.
Now , there are only a few hidden pockets of virgin forest. The wildlife that depended on such areas is mostly gone. America has created several extinctions including the end of the famous passenger pigeon. Flocks of passenger pigeons were so huge, they darkened the skies with their passing. Regardless of the tremendous quantities of the pigeons, none are left now. They were hunted into oblivion.
In the south, the Ivory Bill woodpecker dwelt in hardwood bottomland and cypress swamps. But following the Civil War, timber companies invaded, creating more devastation than the war did. Trophy hunters shot occasional Ivory Bills, merely to prove that they were still around. As sightings diminished, and decades passed, the Ivory Bill woodpecker was assumed to be extinct, doomed by habitat reduction.
The bison is a familiar symbol of the United States of America.
Bisons have been portrayed on coins, and they dwell in our minds as symbols of wildlife, and also stand as the signature creature of the wonderful American prairie. But, the American bison was dragged to the edge of extinction by searching. Buffalo killing trips were conducted from train windows, along with the bison were taken since the trains passed, their bodies left to rot on the plains.
America has done lots of damage to wildlife in its short history. The wild things that recently invade the suburbs screen a wonderful ability to adapt to unlikely surroundings. Thus, the next time you see something unusual, something a bit different, not quite a dog, and you wonder what you are looking at – maybe it’s a wild animal, a bear, a coyote, or a fox out there in your own back yard.