Lost in the city


I see you - acrylic painting by Paulina Ponsford.

"The real wealth of the Nation lies in the resources of the earth - soil, water, forests, minerals, and wildlife."


I'm driving in a busy urban area. There is a lot of traffic -as usual-, people are preoccupied going places: suddenly, I see a much familiar site, a family of deer lost in confusion. The deer ( a few little fawns among them) are trying to cross the street, towards a patch of grass on the mall; drivers slow down and stop to let them cross, just as the deer get to the other side, an oblivious and irresponsible driver speeds by, luckily the deer had crossed already. Maybe they won't be so lucky next time.


Since Calgary has been on an accelerated frenzied expansion for some time, wildlife amid the town is a heartbreaking sight. I see deer everywhere in my neighborhood, crossing the busy streets, I see coyotes looking for food. I contacted Alberta Fish and Wildlife on a few occasions, but they told me they don't do anything about it.


The construction of new roads significantly impacts the wildlife living in the area; construction destroyed their habitat. Their food sources are now gone. Passing vehicles and poor road drains are now polluting the area. Animals have no place to hide from predators, and many of them become roadkill.


Urban growth presents extreme dangers to wildlife and the ecosystem due to the consistent loss of habitats. Humanity will urbanize more than 70,000 square miles of natural habitat by 2030. Urbanization changes the composition of animal communities; some wildlife species will disappear, especially those animals that cannot move fast enough.


What can we do for this endangered wildlife? The more we learn about wildlife, the more aware we become; we can share this information with family and friends. Drive less, and when driving, be careful of wildlife crossing the road. Be careful when recycling plastic products; animals can die after eating plastic debris or get entangled. Contact municipal officials to find how to dispose of chemical waste. Respect the land and the animals. Share what you know with others. See them.