New Yorkers who keep their eyes peeled will be aware that many supposedly ‘wild’ animals roam the streets and nest in buildings and trees in new York.
And probably the most common ‘wild’ animal is the squirrel, so frequently seen that most New Yorkers don’t even think of squirrels as ‘wild. They’re everywhere, parks, anywhere there’s a tree in the streets and in private gardens of course.
Now a university study by Curtin University Department of Environment & Agriculture has shown that squirrels have learned to change their behaviour around humans which has allowed them to persist and thrive in such an urban environment.
Squirrels are noctural which means they’re out and about when most of us are tucked by snoring, but apart from this happy synchonization of who uses parks when, there’s a lot about an urban environment that suits them.
They don’t have few if any predators and due to us careless humans it’s a lot easier to get food in a city than in the wild. However there is one aspect of the urban environment that is really lethal for them, traffic.
They appear to have learnt to judge their behaviour in relation to humans, backing away but not fleeing depending on how close we come, but those cars are both swift and perhaps a lot harder to figure out than humankind.
Anyone who has seen the various varieties of hawks that nest in high spots around New York City during their nesting season will be aware that these majestic birds also thrive in an urban environment, but they are not as numerous as squirrels and they don’t have to worry about cars, though sometimes the squirrels have to worry about them on a seasonal basis.
There are other birds, mammals and reptiles around all the time too, though most are not as easy to see as squirrels.
It’s rather tnice to think wild critters of various kinds are knitted into the fabric of NYC life exceot of course for the rats. We could do without the rats. Come on hawks do your stuff and help get rid of them.