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What is happening to wildlife during COVID-19?

Keele Wildlife Society

 

What is happening to wildlife during COVID-19?

As we all know, staying indoors at the moment can be dull and make us desperate to once again be reunited with wildlife and the outdoors. Many of us are still doing what we can to continue enjoying nature by looking outside of our windows, spending time in our gardens or during our daily exercise. Keele Wildlife Society Treasurer, Sophie Tankard, has shared some photos of the wildlife which she has encountered during her lockdown experience including wild deer and butterflies!

                                                Butterfly by Sophie Tankard                                         Deer by Sophie Tankard

(Photos: Sophie Tankard)

Have you had any wildlife encounters which you would like to share with the society? If so, let us know via email or social media!

It is wonderful to see nature flourishing and behaving in unusual and often unseen ways due to the lack of human presence. For example, wild flowers are growing on the roadsides. Due to the current situation, councils have stopped the cutting of these areas as a result of the redirection of finances and staff shortages. Charities such as Plantlife, who have campaigned for the reduced mowing and cutting of roadside plants for many years, hope that councils will change their previous methods due to the flourishing and benefits for nature. In addition, reduced vehicle usage has seen pollution levels decrease. This is benefitting traditional plants and allowing increased diversity as these plants previously faced competition from nitrogen-loving plants such as nettles. 

Over the past few weeks, wildlife has been seen to be discovering what are now human free spaces with multiple species being found in urban centres. For example, wild boars in central Barcelona and goats in Llandudno, Wales. 

Read this article regarding the goats in Llandudno:

https://inews.co.uk/news/environment/goats-llandudno-wales-town-coronavirus-uk-lockdown-wildlife-2523916

Here is a video regarding wild boar in Barcelona:

https://www.elnacional.cat/es/sociedad/coronavirus-video-jabalies-centro-barcelona-confinamiento_482691_102.html 

Other wildlife stories:

  • Increased sightings of Moles above ground

  • Oyster Catchers are nesting on deserted beaches

  • Hedgehogs have a lower threat of being killed on the road

  • Less disturbance (e.g. by dog walkers) for breeding birds which are nesting in new areas 

But not all animals are benefiting with many needing to find new sources of food due to the lack of human presence providing them with easily and readily available food source options. Look out for our next newsletter which will highlight multiple ways in which you can help wildlife from your home this spring! 

Happy Easter,

Stay Safe

Keele Wildlife Society 2020