The song of the birds is heard in the street, wild boars, small pigs have been seen walking through the city and dolphins near the coast. Human confinement due to the Covid-19 pandemic has led to a calm environment in cities that animals are taking advantage of.
In the first days of confinement by the virus, the inhabitants of the big cities could clearly hear the song of the birds. Wild boars were even sighted in Barcelona and a wild puma roaming the deserted streets of Santiago de Chile.
It is that with the notorious absence of humans in the streets, the animals "They have free way to walk through the cities“Says Romain Julliard, director of research at the National Museum of Natural History in Paris.
Julliard mentions the example of the foxes. These animals "change their behavior very quickly, when a space is quiet, they go“.
In the same way, animals and birds that live in urban green spaces, such as sparrows, pigeons and other birds, can leave their usual territory and “free up space for other animals“.
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As for the birds, it is not that there are more numbers, but that now they can be heard singing. Some birds "they stop singing when there is noise. Now they sing again“, Explains Jér´me Sueur, acoustics specialist at the National Museum of Natural History.
“Noise also alters their behavior and creates stress", Explain.
The disappearance of the human cacophony is “beneficial”For animals, in the middle of spring in the northern hemisphere. The confinement of humans by the virus coincides, for certain species, with the peak of the mating season.
Examples of this are the common toad and the spotted salamander, which “they are often run over when they cross the roads“Explains Jean-Nol Rieffel, regional director of the French Office for Biodiversity.
Black-headed gulls, which nest on the sandbanks of the Loire River in France, are often disturbed. But there are no more walkers, no dogs, no canoes. There are also no onlookers to disturb the fawns.
The Calanques National Park, near Marseille, remains closed to the public due to confinement, there "Nature and animals are returning to their natural spaces at surprising speed“, Says its president Didier Réault.
“Shearwaters that used to nest in archipelagos, in highly protected areas, are now gathering in the water", Explain.
Plants will also benefit from human confinement. For example, the coveted wild orchids grow in late April / early May and are often picked up by walkers, says Jean-Nol Rieffel. This year they could grow in peace.
In the city, the grass grows, flourishes and offers “resources for bumblebees, bees and butterflies“Explains Romain Julliard.
For the scientist, “Perhaps the most important phenomenon is that our way of seeing nature is changing: confined people are realizing how much they miss nature“.
Confined to their homes, people have more time to observe nature from their windows or gardens.
The operation "confined but lurking"Of the French League for the Protection of Birds incites"people to open their windows, watch the birds and identify them if they can“, Says its president Allain Bougrain-Dubourg.
Not everything is so pink
There are many species of animals that inhabit cities that have become “bad” used to living on human waste and have to re-learn to feed themselves.
Protected species are also affected, as relief operations are interrupted, says Loc Obled, deputy director general of the French Office for Biodiversity.
When the end of the quarantine comes, it will be necessary to see how to regulate the situation. "People will want to be close to nature, but too much can be unfavorable for fauna and floraJean-Nol Rieffel warns.