Humans have encroached on everything by exploring the deep abyss to blocking the migratory path of animals on the African Serengeti plains. We have set foot on all continents, have conquered all climatic conditions and faced all terrains. All at the expense of others, meaning disrupting nature. Our interference in nature has let to declining bee populations. Today we have large scale growth of single crop at a particular area spanning many hectares. Bees do not travel 10,000 miles to seek a flower for its nectar and bring it back to its hive. Instead it travels within 10 miles of the source of its nectar. With just one single crop available to support a bee colony, the quality of the nectar and the bee colony itself suffers in silence and ultimately perishes. When bees perish, we start losing our fruits and vegetables that depend on pollination for its very creation. When these flowers do not get cross pollinated, nature does not do its job of creation. This is one such example of our actions that affect nature. Here we have become interrupters of normal life that had gone on for millennia without our help.
We have constructed roads, bridges, tunnels, country roads etc that crisscross our land, town and country. With so many artificial barriers both animals and plants are confused. Most Animals such as elephants and cattle used to migrate along the same path taken by their ancestors for many centuries. This trait has been passed on from generation to generation. As Humans our job is to disrupt everything in our path for our own convenience and comfort. Today that same path is obstructed by high walls, highways and barricades. So what happens to these animals. They are stuck inside a vast belt of roadway that is built to circle a city to keep traffic flowing. At some point the animal instinct kicks in. It uses its internal navigational mechanism and follows that inner drive. In that process it ends up on the highway, get stuck by passing motorists or trucks and gets killed. What do we do? We just have the clean up crew do their job who toss the carcass on the side of the road to rot and life goes on.
There was a true story of a hotel that was built on the migratory path of Elephants somewhere in Africa. This place was probably selected due to its touristy nature. Today elephants still migrate the same path taken for centuries by their ancestors before them. But the main difference as it stands today is, these elephants migrate through the hotel lobby and onto the plains. This does make a vast difference in promoting Eco-tourism without interfering with nature. Likewise huge dams are built to generate hydroelectric power. This is good for us but what about the salmons that are migrating up stream to spawn? Their path is cut off. Now they become easy prey for predators that sense the stress in these salmons and take advantage of the situation. Unless the salmon are able to improvise on the task at hand and find a plan B they are toast. They will perish before they ever find higher ground. Similarly Whales and dolphins are stuck by large containers ships during the path of their migration to predestined feeding grounds. Migratory birds face many more challenges: They do not know how to cross a road because no one has taught them. Insects are not taught to avoid headlights. The inbuilt navigation systems within the brain of these birds are short circuited by powerful antenna signals, radio waves and other other high and low frequency sounds. To top it off they face the glare of night lights Now they cannot see the stars to use it for navigation purposes. The Earth’s magnetic field is not helping either due to many artificial interference.
Now, Let’s analyze the area around our house. Our house is zapped with multitude of waves, microwaves, waves from our cell phone usage, TV and audio receivers, dish antenna, satellite dishes, Wi-fi portals, waves originating from our LCD screens, Bluetooth technology, and other wireless waves. Now on the exterior we have cell phone towers all around us, transmitters on roof tops of tall buildings that are being leased out to telephone companies. In short we are being zapped by waves all the time 24/. Even our watches have connectivity to our phones, our phones to the towers etc. At the moment we do not know the side effects of these waves on us. So do we care to know the effects of it on birds? Definitely not. Once animals are off the traditional migratory path things will go wrong. Families get split, they jump into oncoming traffic, they lose track of their orientation of space, place and time, and they get lost. What about small creatures? They migrate too. When we destroy forests, we are destroying all the natural plant based medicines that come with it, With it goes small, very small and micro life towards extinction. Once the micro nutrients and bacteria are destroyed, next comes our turn to perish. Once the forest floor is devoid of life, the giant trees too will perish before we have a chance to think and ask ourselves the question: What have we done?
So what can we do to help them? Maybe nothing at this point. Is there a way to ease their pain? Probably not. Is there a way we can say sorry. I don’t think so. They are not going to buy into it. What can we do to help them moving forward? A lot.
- We need to plan their migratory routes when we are designing our buildings, planning our cities and constructing our highways and byways. We need to keep them in mind first. (Currently our mindset is : WE come first)
- Need to plan their routes over highways so they can cross with ease. They must be wide enough for large herds to pass above in search pf feeding grounds on the other side of the roads.
- They need to be given the right of way. Imagine the amount of deer that gets killed by motorists. Barriers need to be at least 10 feet high top prevent a deer from jumping onto the expressway.
- They need to have water sources and food sources made available to them at strategic points. This needs planning. We need to help plan nature for them so we can put them back in touch with nature. Remember, we have destroyed their Natural path.
- Cut out lights at night with regard to its usage. Street Lights could be dimmed. We could have blackouts every night. This may help us connect with our families than with our phones and TV’s. This will give animals a chance to live as nature intended, at least for a short while each night.
The above is just a sample of what we can do to give back to nature and learn from our past mistakes. Mistakes have been done, but moving forward we need to learn from them so as to not to repeat them again. Just like we need a second chance in life, all the animals deserve to have one too. So let’s give it to them.