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The Animals Among Us


The wild animals who live among us are part of our communities; they’re residents and contributors — not outsiders or intruders. Our assault on them can be viewed as harbingers of our larger environmental destiny. If we can’t attend to the animals in our own backyards, the long-term chances for biological diversity in the rest of this world are bleak.⠀

Every animal whose space we share in our neighborhoods — from the diurnal deer (like Atticus here!), squirrels, bees, and birds to the nocturnal foxes, skunks, rats, raccoons, mountain lions, and opossums — face challenges that threaten their very survival every day: noisy leaf-blowers and unleashed dogs, speeding cars and light pollution, rampant habitat loss, and a human species so hostile to their existence we install non-native landscapes they can’t eat, delicious plants they love but are hindered from or punished for eating, and fences that inhibit their ability to travel freely to find food, water, or shelter. ⠀

Biological diversity is declining at alarming rates, and since the underlying cause is easy to identify (human behavior) the underlying solutions are equally apparent. ⠀

A few changes can make all the difference. We can:⠀

*Give plant-eaters a break. Newly planted trees and shrubs WILL be tested by hungry deer, but just keeping new plants protected for the first few years means they can withstand a little nibbling once they’re more mature. ⠀

*Stop poisoning rats. If not because there are more humane ways to deal with uninvited critters in our homes, then because rat poison hurts everyone in the food web. ⠀

*Create wildlife corridors to allow animals to move freely through our yards without risking the dangers of the road. ⠀
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Everything we do has an impact on something or someone else. It’s not that we CAN make a difference in this world. It’s that we DO make a difference. The question is: do we want that difference to be negative or positive?⠀

What are you doing today to make a positive difference?

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