Friday, January 28, 2011

"No wonder we close our eyes, toss birdseed, and hope for the best."

"Any landscape marked by human intrusion is, in ecological parlance, disturbed, and as a habitat-type, the urban landscape can only be called highly disturbed. The word disturb has a Latin root, turbare, which means "to agitate" or "to confuse," to "pour together," "to mix utterly". How fitting! Wild and domestic. Native and introduced. Rare and invasive. Pavement and pathway. Human and wild. The extraordinary and the commonplace."

"Nearly all of our urban planning frames the city as a home for humans and fails to account for the presence and needs of nonhuman animals. Even sustainable city efforts pay little attention to the needs of animals per se, focusing instead on issues of water purity, clean air, parks, and green space for the health, recreational, and aesthetic benefits they confirm upon humans. As ill-conceived housing developments sprawl into areas that were very recently forested, the human/wild clashes become more complicated, sometimes involving displaced (wildlife) that unwittingly wander back into their previous home range, where they are no longer welcome..."

"We can be a friend to wildlife by planting trees, or restoring land, or moving dead animals off the road so the scavengers that come to eat them don't become roadkill themselves"

"Living daily alongside (wildlife), I remember to check the lid on the garbage can, to refrain from observing too closely the warbler's nest in the backyard vine maple lest I draw a predator's attention, to put a net over the koi pond at night... I'm reminded to fight like hell for the green space that will allow a range of species to flourish, not just the synanthropes but the birds that can live near cities as long as areas of contiguous forest are conserved or restored... For us that means a Violet-green Swallow box under the eaves, and the still-uninhabited bat box on the other side of the house... I'm reminded to keep replacing the grass with native plants and shrubs that flourish in local conditions while providing natural food and cover for wild birds (the single best way to limit number of dominant birds such as crows and starlings that thrive on the confluence of concrete and traditional "yards")."

Crow Planet
Lyanda Lynn Haupt

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