I think that instead of vandalizing good businesses PETA should concentrate on the "new construction" industry! Every time a tree goes down, and the foundation is excavated hundreds of animals have died/lost their home! Shame on PETA too! I would never support their "terrorist" tactics!
Anyone Noticed Wild Animals Returing
I think maybe hunting is in decline a bit - as well as what Abaddon said about nature's adaptability - mankind's effects are stabilizing a bit and nature is adapting. At least in countries that are already developed; new construction is down a bit as people tend to buy older houses and fix them up. Population in developed countries isn't growing like it used to be, either. Immigration control and low sperm counts... heh heh heh...
One thing I haven't seen here in Portland in years is dead possums on the streets. Used to see them all the time in the 60-s and 70-s.
With legislation and more nature awareness in the US and Canada we're seeing more "wild life". We're also seeing more "wild life" with suburban invasion: California even Victoria and the cougar "problem". Wild deer in downtown Portland and downtown Seattle. Falcons nesting on an office tower just outside a 5-star restaurant in Seattle (to the horror of the patrons when they come and feed their young with dead pidgeons!)
A sign of Big A? Nah. Just a sign of man moving in on beast and beast trying to survive.
You should see the bald eagles in the Seattle area! There are even trees that hold aeries that are protected - by the government AND by the people in the neighborhood. Kewl stuff.
We live in the an urban area just outside of downtown, separated by 1200' ridge. (we're at 500' elev, and downtown Portland is about 70' elev) 2 legal lots away is a 100 acre park. Our condo group is on 6 acres of park-like setting on part of the runnoff that feeds a creek. We get coyotes through here on a regular basis, and you should SEE the emails of the concerned and even scared residents. Those with children rush their kids inside! It's amazing to see their ignorance of the critters that live here. I get warnings about my cats being out; coyotes will kill cats if they can catch them. But I don't worry (too much). They usually go after rodents (mice, rats, squirrels, etc).
There is a big concern here for the raccoon population which carries a form of distemper that will transfer to dogs. There have been a couple of dieouts here in the last 7 years. A sick coon was seen this summer in our backyard. They're really neat, intelligent critters and I hate to see the dieout, especially with the discomfort and pain they have to go through. BUT I'm not totally unhappy about them no longer coming in the cat door(s) and eating the cat food and ransacking the cupboards!
I like the wildlife moving into the city. It promotes more awareness of the world around us.
PS I havent seen many wooley worms in the last couple of decades. I usually look for them in the fall to see what kind of winter we're going to have. Large brown center band - mild winter. Lots of dark black and narrow brown center band - hard winter. It has always been right. But it is valid only for the micro-climate where you find the caterpillar.
BUT I'm not totally unhappy about them no longer coming in the cat door(s) and eating the cat food and ransacking the cupboards!
There are "smart" cat doors designed to let in only your own pets and not outside animals. Might be more expensive tho.
I don't buy in to the whole world-decline thing. There is lots of great news that happens, it just never hits the news. There is no special interest group for happiness. Some endangered species come back from the brink. Since the US started an endagered species list in 1967, 40 species have been "delisted". 17% of these were extinct. 52% either recovered or new information showed they were not in as much trouble as people thought.
We still have lots of hunting around our hills. Deer populations, especially, go through explosive growth and decline. If the local human population is over-enthusiastic in removing other predators, we do see an increase in other species. Beavers block our culverts. Skunks ruin a driver's day. Porcupine chew off the bark off our favorite tree.
There are "smart" cat doors designed to let in only your own pets and not outside animals. Might be more expensive tho
It's not the expense, but that the cat has to wear a collar with a magnetic "key". My cats dont (wont) wear collars. They are dangerous to indoor-outdoor cats, even the break-away collars. I had a break-away collar on one of my cats fail a few years back and she came home with her foreleg through the collar, limping.
Instead I have had Avid chips inserted in my cats. They are registered including the vet and health info/problems.
Also, I don't feed the crows in the afternoon (they get cheap catfood), and make sure there is no crowfood left in their bowl. This is less inviting to a coon.
The distemper is "natures" way of keeping the coons in balance.... They thrive in human environments, just like many rodents. Rodent populations go through the same kinds of cycles and there are diseases that keep their populations in check, such as Haunta Virus in the southern states (also dangerous to humans). Prairie dogs carry the black plague and they are occasionally wiped out by an epidemic. Occasionally a human in the vicinity of a prairie dog town will contract "the plague" is bitten by a flea.
I find it interesting how epidemics and plagues are used by the earth to keep life in check. Brings up... ya think that with our advanced medicine and the "wiping out" of deadly and disabling diseases we may have screwed with mother nature? (Polio, small pox, measles, etc)
The current mountain lion problem is indeed blamed on a lack of population control. The county used to give hunting rights but this has not been the case for a number of years, and it is quite possible that there is not enough prey in wilderness and mountain areas, and the animals are coming now into residental areas for food. The present population problem is not to be correlated with current incursion of development, as the Sierra Club has been quite effective in protecting undeveloped areas. Of course, before the twentieth century, there was much more undeveloped land than there is today -- but most of the development since 1950 has been in converting agricultural land into residential and business neighborhoods.
The article in yesterday's local paper has this to say on the current problem:
"A mountain lion seen in Palo Alto this week may be feeding on feral cats, wild animals, and pet chow left outdoors, according to a warning Palo Alto police issued yesterday. At the same time, officials in Atherton -- where mountain lions have been also spotted -- were making plans for a November meeting where residents can learn more about the lions. In Palo Alto, a mountain lion was seen atop a roof near the corner of North California Avenue and Greer Road Tuesday. Officials believe the mountain lion may still be in the areas. Officials yesterday ruled out using tracking dogs and traps to catch the big cat."
Brenda: Maybe one day there will be a chip-activated cat door as well....seems like the next step.