Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘wildlife’

Imagine where you were and what you were doing in 1970. I was finishing up college in Purchase, NY. while my first husband commuted to work in NYC. SUNY required a dissertation, so much of my time was spent driving to the Hartford School for the Deaf in order to test their students. I was only 22 and didn’t know yet we’d be divorced very soon. My single connection to nature in our little apartment was a cat I had rescued from the school, an Abyssinian I named Minnie Mama (instead of Minnie Mouse) because she promptly delivered six kittens.

Today the World Wildlife Fund WWF has issued a call to arms. The population of wildlife on this fragile planet in the past 40 years has decreased by half. http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/wildlife-populations-halved-last-40-years-by-human-consumption-degradation-1467806

“The biggest recorded threat to biodiversity globally comes from the combined impacts of habitat loss and degradation, driven by unsustainable human consumption,” the report said. “The impacts of climate change are becoming of increasing concern.”Other factors that contribute to the populations decrease are the presence of invasive species, pollution, and diseases.The main threats to freshwater species, which have suffered the biggest decrease, are habitat loss and fragmentation, pollution, and invasive species.

It’s rather frightening to think that since the 70s, we’ve lost so many species. In other words, in our lifetime; it’s been on our watch and it seems somebody wasn’t watching. Of course it is guns and butter. Human population is exploding and we’re not just increasing our carbon footprint, we’re denuding habitat. But yesterday I took heart with a TED talk about “Rewilding” in the Yellowstone National Park.

So to watch the Youtube talk, you’ll have to click on over to the WordPress site. In a nutshell and not quite so eloquently as George Monbiot who advocates for “…the large-scale restoration of complex natural ecosystems,” he relates the story of reintroducing wolves in to the Park in 1995. Most thought we’d lose some species since they are such vital predators. But instead, nature did something truly grand. After a 70 year wolf absence, deer had grazed away most vegetation; now of course the wolves did kill some deer who were already overpopulating the Park.

But they learned to avoid the wolves by steering clear of fields, valleys and gorges. And you thought deer were dumb? This allowed the vegetation to grow, which brought in migrating birds and rabbits, beavers and hedgehogs…well you get the picture. Valleys became forests. Ecosystem engineers were fast at work! What happens next is truly amazing http://www.ted.com/talks/george_monbiot_for_more_wonder_rewild_the_world

“Rivers changed in response to the wolves.” 

This morning I watched a family of six deer graze through my shade garden while I showered. First the fawns come out of the woods, then the elders look me squarely in the eyes for a few minutes, and we decide to have an understanding. I keep Ms Bean in the house, and they keep feasting on my flora. What can I say? I think Buddha must have been a wolf. Buddha's new sister 001

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: