Rick Neilson in his article in the Fort Frances Times, Nov 27, titled “Farming Practices Impacting Local Landscapes,” gives the reader some insight into what happens when forested land is cleared. Any mammals, birds, insects and other wildlife have lost their habitat.
Any ecosystem that is disturbed leads to other losses, also. Here we’ll deal with only one – what happens to resident wildlife and what effect it may have on humans.
Obviously, many small mammals and birds die as trees are cut down and bulldozers push debris into piles.
Some wildlife may escape to an adjacent forest, but usually other habitats cannot support an increase in population, especially in winter, when food is scarce; thus, many do not survive.
Some species may disappear from the district and never return (extirpation), but this is uncommon.
And, as we know, many mammals migrate to towns, cities and nearby farms. Here in Fort Frances, we have squirrels, deer, coyotes, lynx, occasionally wolves and for many years, ice, rats, skunks, raccoons and feral cats.
With these animals, come many diseases. In a recent study, it was found that animals throughout the world carry over 800 viruses. The deadly Lassa virus was ranked high on the list, while the virus that caused Covid-19 a close second. This study is on-going, because insects and tame animals have not been included yet.
It would seem that farmers are responsible for the plight of wildlife. But not so! They supply us with food. They are clearing land to produce more food for you, me and an over populated world.
Since we eat the food, we are accomplices. So anyone who eats is responsible.