A white-tailed fawn rests in a clump of grass. (Design Pics)

A white-tailed fawn rests in a clump of grass. (Design Pics)

COVID-19 not leading to increased wildlife, you just have more time on your hands: biologist

People have had more time to actually notice the critters that usually turn up in the spring

No, unfortunately, it seems nature is not healing.

While hunkered down inside, many Canadians believe they’ve observed more wildlife while peering out their windows.

However, Dan Kraus, a senior conservation biologist with the Nature Conservancy of Canada, said it’s more likely people have just had more time to notice the backyard critters who usually turn up this time of year.

“Because of how COVID-19 has forced many of us to slow down and stay home, many people are more tuned in to what nature is around us — we might be noticing the birds and other creatures that live around us more because we are less distracted compared to our usual routines,” said Kraus, adding that the change of season is also a likely contributor.

“Animals of all sorts are moving about more looking for a mate or building a nest or den. So this slow down of human society is happening right when the rest of nature is waking up and getting active. There’s a lot happening for any of us to notice if we only pay attention.”

There’s a myriad of reasons, according to Kraus, these sightings are more prevalent as of late, including animals taking advantage of empty spaces left vacant by sequestered humans.

“The quieter environment certainly means that we also hear more birds, and animals that avoided people by mostly coming out at night maybe extending the hours that they are active,” said Kraus.

Sightings of larger animals are not all that uncommon in the spring months, said Kraus. Often, wildlife will make way into the big city as habitat is more available than in years past due to the increase in popularity of city parks and greenspace.

Kraus is hopeful these observations will increase people’s appreciation of the nature around them and the critters that call it home.

“The majority of Canadians live in a place that historically had very high biodiversity,” said Kraus. “Some of the diversity is coming back thanks to conservation efforts and because wildlife is adapting.”

READ MORE: Grizzly bear pals emerge from 19th hibernation at Grouse Mountain

READ MORE: Vancouver Aquarium, at risk of permanently closing, raises $600K in donations


@michaelrdrguez
michael.rodriguez@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

CoronavirusWildlife

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Interior Health update. File photo.
86 new COVID-19 cases, two more deaths in Interior Health

The new deaths are from Heritage Square, a long-term care facility in Vernon

A woman wearing a protective face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 walks past a mural in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, Dec. 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
115 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths in Interior Health

There are now a total of 4,970 cases in the region

Jacob Gardner (Fort St. John, B.C.) marking the highest score of the night of 84.5 on Pozobon Bucking Bulls’ 94 Jason’s Dream. This photo originally appeared in the Jan. 14, 2016, issue of the Times.
10 YEARS AGO: Twenty-seven brave souls take the plunge

40 YEARS AGO: Although mining concerns are not known to be among… Continue reading

(Unsplash photo)
“Are you printing the truth yet?”

Right from my first days in the editor’s chair, I have had a handful of locals tell me they know the secrets to solving COVID-19 — but fail to provide support.

File photo
Man tells RCMP he’s being chased, is later arrested

RCMP looking for witnesses of head-on collision Jan. 10

Justin Kripps of Summerland and his team have competed in Olympic action and World Cup competitions in bobsleigh. (Jason Ransom-Canadian Olympic Comittee).
QUIZ: Are you ready for some winter sports?

It’s cold outside, but there are plenty of recreation opportunities in the winter months

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19: Provinces work on revised plans as Pfizer-BioNTech shipments to slow down

Anita Anand said she understands and shares Canadians’ concerns about the drug company’s decision

Tourists take photographs outside the British Columbia Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday August 26, 2011. A coalition of British Columbia tourism industry groups is urging the provincial government to not pursue plans to ban domestic travel to fight the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. travel ban will harm struggling tourism sector, says industry coalition

B.C. government would have to show evidence a travel ban is necessary

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
‘Targeted’ shooting in Coquitlam leaves woman in hospital

The woman suffered non-life threatening injuries in what police believe to be a targeted shooting Saturday morning

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)
A unique-looking deer has been visiting a Nanoose Bay property with its mother. (Frieda Van der Ree photo)
A deer with 3 ears? Unique animal routinely visits B.C. property

Experts say interesting look may be result of an injury rather than an odd birth defect

Standardized foundation skills assessment tests in B.C. schools will be going ahead later than usual, from Feb. 16 to March 12 for students in Grades 4 and 7. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. teachers say COVID-affected school year perfect time to end standardized tests

Foundational skills testing of Grade 4 and 7 students planned for February ad March

Sooke’s Jim Bottomley is among a handful of futurists based in Canada. “I want to help people understand the future of humanity.” (Aaron Guillen - Sooke News Mirror)
No crystal ball: B.C. man reveals how he makes his living predicting the future

63-year-old has worked analytical magic for politicians, car brands, and cosmetic companies

Terry David Mulligan. (Submitted photo)
Podcast: Interview with longtime actor/broadcaster and B.C. resident Terry David Mulligan

Podcast: Talk includes TDM’s RCMP career, radio, TV, wine, Janis Joplin and much more

Most Read