As we self-isolate to protect ourselves and others from COVID-19, will wildlife take up space we normally inhabit?
That’s the question Global News asked in a March 23 story, turning to Prof. Faisal Moola in U of G’s Department of Geography, Environment and Geomatics for answers.
“You will begin to notice that subset of animals that have always been there with us,” Moola told Global News. “Those include those animals that are generalists, that are well-adapted to living in humanized geography.”
Some areas of Canada may even see an increase in bears wandering into towns and cities, he added. But it won’t be a case of nature taking back the cities, but will more likely reflect the often destructive impact humans have on animal habitat.
“Any short-term increase in wildlife populations is going to be very quickly displaced by the fact that these animals are now in closer proximity to us, perhaps even more habituated to us as a consequence of their changing behaviour,” he added, “and then more likely to be vulnerable to conflict with us, which inevitably results in the death of these animals.”
Moola is an ecologist who studies conservation leadership and policy, including Indigenous-led conservation management.