Amid all the social distancing and self-quarantine, new research reveals that Europe’s lockdown is actually giving its own wildlife a welcome breathing space, helping them re-establish their numbers after decades of observed decline.
Lockdown Provides Breathing Space To Europe’s Wildlife
When the humans are away, the animals come out to play. And not just play, but flourish as well. This is because amid the coronavirus pandemic that has seen the vast majority of Europeans staying inside to keep themselves safe, reports show that threatened and endangered species of plants, birds and other animals are getting the chance to re-establish themselves after experiencing decades of decline.
For example, peregrine falcons are now commonly seen nesting in the ancient ruins of Corfe Castle, which is a crumbling historical fortress built back in the 11th century. Per the National Trust, the bird of prey has been largely absent in the castle since the 1980s. However, a pair returned just a mere eight weeks after the castle has been shut due to the lockdown.
“With the site the quietest it has ever been, the great curtain walls are an ideal spot for these powerful birds, which look for isolated and inaccessible places to build a nest,” David Brown, an ecologist working at the castle, said.
Similar examples are also abound across numerous sites, as per the National Trust, with various animals like goats, cuckoos and English partridges being seen in U.K.’s many wild areas. Additionally, environmentalists also talk of badgers and otters that are seen returning to their old habitats.
On the mainland, seals have also started colonizing beaches that are usually chock-full of tourists. Italian towns have also started seeing an influx of wild boars that are roaming the neighborhood. There have also been far fewer road kill, what with less cars driving around. Lastly, ground nesting birds have fared exceptionally well, what with fewer dogs walking around with their owners.
“Wildlife seems to be enjoying the breathing space. With less traffic and fewer people, we’ve heard deafening levels of birdsong and seen famous monuments and formal gardens colonized by wildlife,” Ben McCarthy, the trust’s head of nature conservation, said in a news release.