Have You ever wondered why you rarely see any wild animals when you go to the mountains and then when you are driving back home, you almost hit a deer? Or how we see coyotes walk down our streets and turkeys standing in the middle of the road. This is the result of the overpopulation of wild animals living in the suburbs. Wildlife living in suburbia has become an arising problem and many people do not know how it started and why they even choose to live along side us. In my report, I will address the reasons and underlying causes for the existence of wildlife in suburbia and what their impact is on the communities that they inhabit.
Humans and animals have coexisted together for thousands of years and not until the last 300 years have we began to address their presence as a problem. The animals have always been here and when humans came and built towns and cities, the animals were pushed father out away from their original habitat. According to The U.S. Bureau of Land Management, roughly 72 percent of all America is either inhabited by humans or farmland. This means that only 38 percent of the United States is uninhabited or wilderness. This lack of natural habitat is one reason why wild animals are more common in our suburbs today. 2.
Wild animals however are not forced to live in the suburbs, they actually choose to do so because of the opportunities it offers. Living alongside humans is more beneficial to the animals and is a much easier way to survive rather than living in the wild. The population of wild animals living alongside humans thrives because of the opportunities it offers to sustain a a thriving population. The food source is the biggest reason these animals choose to live here. Unlike in the wild, animals would usually compete for food sources. Any type of animal could survive in the suburbs because of the diverse food sources that it offers. The amount of domesticated pets that live in the suburbs is what the carnivores like the coyote thrive on. Omnivores like the raccoon survive on garbage and fruits dropped by trees. Herbivores like the deer feed mostly on gardens that people plant and the surplus of plant buds from peoples bushes and trees.
Since the main predators of most animals try to avoid human contact like the mountain lion, living alongside humans offers protection to prey animals. Having no natural predators makes a kind of safe haven for these animals to exist. Living in the suburbs is like a safe haven to a wild animal because of the available food sources and freedom from main predators. Structures that humans have made also provide shelter for the animals. Raccoons and skunks mostly inhabit storm drains, basements, attics, and any other structure that they can get into. Deer and coyotes tend to go wherever they can hide, mostly in brush or other natural enclosures. Suburbs with an open space or a natural 3.
habitat like a forrest near them experience a higher population of wild animals. This is because the animals can live in the open areas but come into the cities for food and protection. More skittish animals like deer and coyotes prefer to live in the wild and feed in the suburbs. Therefore you see a higher population of those animals in suburbs near open spaces rather than raccoons and skunks which can live either in suburbia or the wild.
The opportunities that present themselves to these animals is to be blamed solely on the human population. People can easily prevent animals from entering the suburbs if everyone tried to keep them out. Most people do not respect that the animals themselves are WILD and should be treated as such. People unintentionally feed them by leaving out cat and dog food for their pets to eat at night. Scavengers and carnivores alike take this as a free and easy meal and return nightly as long as food is provided for them. Trash cans and compost are also food sources that...