Kevin McDonald San Rafael is a lifelong wildlife conservation enthusiast. He states that the coronavirus lockdown has had some interesting effects on wildlife conservation. The lockdown has been dubbed anthropause by scientists because it’s seen as a great pause in normal human activity. Humans are staying at home, which greatly reduces their interaction with wildlife. This has affected wildlife, and the wildlife conservation movement.
Positive Effects on Wildlife
According to Kevin McDonald, of San Rafael pollution has decreased because of the lockdown. The environment is cleaner. Blue skies and clear waters have certainly had a positive effect on wildlife. Since humans are staying inside, animals are often seen in the streets and unexpected waters. Cougars were spotted in Santiago, and wild boars have been seen in Barcelona. In L.A., coyotes and deer stroll the urban streets. Kevin McDonald San Rafael also notes that jellyfish are seen in Venice canals.
Concerns for Wildlife
Kevin McDonald San Rafael explains that the relationship between humans and wildlife is very complex. In Yosemite, bears stroll down the man-made streets in the absence of human activity. One ranger stated, “they seem to be having a party”. Kevin McDonald San Rafael says some animals have become reliant on people for food. Food may be intentionally given to animals or left behind for them to scavenge. This brings higher concentrations of animals that are no longer afraid of humans, posing risks to humans and wildlife. The current lockdown gives animals a chance to regain their independence without human interference.
Another concern is poaching. Lack of human activity gives more opportunities for undetected poaching. In many countries, lack of work may lead to poaching as a way to survive.
Impacts on Wildlife Conservation
The impact on wildlife conservation is also a double-edged sword, according to Kevin McDonald San Rafael. It has led to increased interest in wildlife conservation. Scientists around the world are getting an unprecedented opportunity to study the impact of humans on wildlife. This research will lead to new discoveries, which should aid conservationist’s efforts to protect and support wildlife.
However, Kevin McDonald San Rafael states that it’s also led to drastic decreases in wildlife conservation funding in many areas. With the economy on hold along with travel, wildlife conservation might be seen as a low priority. As most relief efforts focus on humans, and conservation may pay the price.
There’s also a drastic reduction of money from wildlife tourism because of the lockdown. Many countries fund their wildlife conservation programs with funds from tourism. Many parks and preserves remain closed during this time, and the ones that are open are less crowded. This might be good for wildlife, but it presents a problem for those who rely on the profits to fund conservation efforts.
Kevin McDonald San Rafael says that it will take time to really understand the effects of lockdown on wildlife and conservation efforts. It presents an amazing opportunity to learn more about animal behavior and the impact of humans and some serious challenges. Kevin McDonald San Rafael hopes that anthropause will lead to more people taking an interest in wildlife conservation.