Sunday, October 02, 2005

Dealing With Suburban Wildlife: A Tale of Two Suburbs

Increasing metropolitan expansion has had dramatic effects on wildlife habitats, the animals that count on them for survival, and the new human neighbors. How communities deal with the human/animal interactions in suburbia provides an interesting glimpse into cultural values.

First: outside of Atlanta, in the Gwinett County community of Lawrenceville, we have commissioners from the local Water and Sewage Authority considering opening up their land to hunting to get rid of the pesky coyotes, Canadian Geese, and deer seen in the area.

Next: outside of New York, in Westchester County, Cornell University announced they will spend almost half a million dollars to put tracking devices on representatives of the increasingly prevalent coyote population to get an understanding of their migratory habits. Interestingly, they are also going to study human attitudes and behaviors towards the animals.

I am not anti-hunting by any means, but the Cornell project seems much more sensible in its approach towards understanding of the human/ecological dynamic than the folks in Georgia.

linked to Outside the Beltway