Chicago is one of America’s largest cities, and as such, there’s always plenty going on, and citizens of the Windy City have plenty to worry about in their day to day lives. Wildlife might not be among their normal concerns, but there are six reasons why they should take wildlife more serious in Chicago.
1) Keeping the Chicago River clean matters: Even aside from the fish that traverse the Chicago River, many species rely on it for water, and the banks are habitat to many species of wildlife. This part of the city must be preserved for everyone’s sake.
2) Urban sprawl means intruding on habitat: Chicago and the cities around it continue to grow at the edges, eating up undeveloped land and wooded terrain, once the habitat of native species ranging from foxes to deer. They then wind up going through suburbs and retail areas, so residents of these places can plan on encountering wildlife and need to know what to do (or not).
3) Wildlife sometimes has to be removed: While most animals learn to either avoid human activity or coexist with it, sometimes animals get a little out of control. Also, there can be cases of rabid animals that need put down or dangerous animals that need catching and relocation. How the city and area decide to handle wildlife is eventually put into practice by wildlife authorities and animal control departments of area cities and counties.
4) Lake Michigan is a vital resource: As one of the Great Lakes, Lake Michigan is a major geographic feature of this region. Many industries depend on there being abundant wildlife in and around the lake, be it fishing expeditions or bird watching groups of tourists. Overharvesting populations past their renewal rates destroy food supplies and drive prices up at the grocery store.
5) Educational opportunities abound: Kids growing up in urban areas don’t get to spend a lot of time in natural areas around plants and animals. They might think of them more from zoos and gardens. Teaching them about regional wildlife is a chance to get them to appreciate the world past the concrete jungles. A lot of agriculture happens in the Midwest, and the decline of pollinating species like bees is something that needs awareness in the generations eventually entrusted to care for this world.
6) Bird and pests can carry disease: The bird flu scare of recent years was more a scare than anything else, but that’s not to say that wildlife can’t spread disease. It’s only when there’s proper monitoring of migrating populations that health and emergency authorities can know to respond to something spreading.
As you can see, there are not one but six different reasons why residents of Chicago should take wildlife more seriously, as even in a big city, natural life has an impact on the people of the area.