Last week, I happened to glance out my backdoor and saw to my surprise that our local bear was up and about, and apparently looking for a morning snack. You can see from the sorrowful look on his face that he was out of luck in my yard, the feeder was in. The birds are not pleased with this arrangement, but I am tired of retrieving the feeder from the woods when the bear gets ahold of it. I do not mind having a bear around, as long as we give each other wide berth all is well. It is part of living in an area when new developments push into the roaming grounds of the wildlife, pushing them into different paths of travel. In the book Nature Wars: the incredible story of how wildlife comebacks turned backyards into battlegrounds by Jim Sterba this topic is clearly and unbiasedly covered. It was very interesting to read, parts of it even humorous, and left me wondering exactly what the solution could be. So many put forth are foolishly expensive and of dubious success, but we are not the same type of people who lived her 50, 100,or 200 years ago and on back in time. We have built in ways that don’t make best use of the land in our desire for “space”, we have built larger than we need, and we have let the Disney effect become the yardstick for wildlife and neighborhoods. Sterba makes several points that will make you think differently about so many things relating to what roams our backyards.
This is a fairly quick read, as it is written in a smooth and engaging style. It really is applicable worldwide, though set mainly in the US. Recently I saw a show about the impact of Australian housing development on the koala population, and thought of that when I read this book. Basically the facts are:
the bear, the fox, the turkeys, the deer, the fisher cats, the skunks, the beaver, are in my backyard, as far as the title to the land states, in their mind it is part of their territory and they will be passing through as they need to. I would recommend that anyone who lives in an area that is experiencing a wildlife parade that seems to be growing each season.