Dolphins, swans, clear blue skies and oceans are being perceived by many as indications of how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting ecosystems and the environment. People are concluding that while daily activities and social lives have been disrupted, reduced carbon emissions are giving them clearer views of natural sceneries beyond the horizon.
However, environmental researchers are quick to point out that what we are seeing now are effects of those concerted efforts rather than immediate results of recent quarantine and travel ban measures. They are results of global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions long before the COVID-19 pandemic broke out,
Although it is heartwarming that many are now appreciative in seeing different species returning to their natural habitats, caution is being given when connecting such occurrences to the COVID-19 event. In an interview with Forbes.com. the Managing Director of Rewilding Europe, Frans Schepers explained that
What we are seeing is actually a result of a much longer trend, because had the population of those animal species went into a decline, they would not be showing up in the wake of the novel coronavirus lockdown” “It is natural for animals to behave differently when everything is calm and peaceful, as such conditions allow them get closer to villages and cities.”
Schepers further discussed that people can expect to see more wildlife, demonstrating how numerous species have benefited from habitat improvements, fewer poachers, less hunting activities, better protection, as safer havens owing to absence of all human pressure.
All those take time to happen, and the occurrence of the COVID-19 pandemic gave nature the opportunity to exhibit how it has responded from such benefits. He added that
“If people ease out pressures on nature, nature bounces back, as what we see happening now.” “Mainly because of nature’s huge resilience and capability to restore itself; giving us hope that ecosystems and the environment could return to their natural conditions.
About Rewilding Europe
Rewilding Europe is a non-profit organisation founded in 2011 by ARK Nature,, Conservation Capital, Wild Wonders of Europe and the WWF-Netherlands. Currently based in Nijmegen, Netherlands, the group’s mission is to create rewilded landscapes across Europe in at least 10 different regions.