Suburbia encroaches on wildlife – not the other way around


As I watched this very interesting report on The National the other night I was reminded of a wildlife corridor project a lot closer to home, whether I consider home to be Toronto, Salaberry-de-Valleyfield, Québec or Perth, Ontario.

It’s called A2A – Algonquin to Adirondacks Conservation Association. A look at the map on the website shows Perth (when most maps of that scale would not) at the eastern edge of the corridor.

Come to think of it, Perth’s local conservation area is very popular with birders (and less so at certain times of the year with anyone who fears snakes) so conserve-nature-and-they’ll-come-is-a-good-lesson.

Also, about ten years ago, a very forward-looking organization called ecoPerth turned a steep, sleepy hillside just down the street from my Mom’s into a thriving urban “forest in the making” which overlooks the Tay Canal Basin. While it’s still young there were enough fast-growing trees and other vegetation planted to give it a wild out-of-town feel already.

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Not far from Perth, along the back roads to Kingston, is the Foley Mountain Conservation Area on a beautiful peak overlooking the village of Westport. I took this picture around Thanksgiving of 2001 (before I had upgraded my camera).

View of Westport from Foley Mountain

We’ve become accustomed to raccoons making their home fairly close to our downtown household garbage. Yet there really ought be no one surprised when deer, rabbits or even coyotes and bears start visiting and/or terrorizing suburban neighbourhoods.

The answer is not to hand out hunting permits or silently condone such activity unlicensed, either.

Let’s do what we can to make sure they can safely get under our highways, or avoid them altogether.

They aren’t on our lands. We’re on theirs.