Dear Editor:

The ‘Occupy Main Street’ urban wildlife movement has gone global. Baboons occupy Cape Town, wild boars Berlin, capybaras Argentina, Canada geese Vernon, rabbits Warsaw, plus deer, turkeys, raccoons, or whatever critters you have in your town. What started this movement? ‘Experts’ tell us people are baiting the animals right out of the forest. Townspeople blame each other for starting a worldwide phenomenon. European cities were studying urban wildlife in 1978, calling it synurbization. They found habitat loss causes urban wildlife—loss the result of urbanization, agribusiness, or industry. Since 2000, B.C. and AB have deforested 33,000 square kilometres of old growth. What happened to all the displaced God’s creatures? They didn’t all move to the city. Since 2003 seven caribou herds in Southern B.C. and AB have vanished, and in one decade B.C. lost half its elk population. Worldwide over one million species are facing extinction. 

Had we considered the inhabitants before gutting their neighbourhoods, we wouldn’t have an urban wildlife problem. Since the Harper government, “economics” overrules “science and logic.” Transnational big-business and industry are the big powers planning the dismal future of wildlife; they want animals gone, period. Big businesses consider wildlife completion cutting into profit. The Canadian Agri-Food Pol?icy Institute—a privately-funded advisor to the federal government on agricultural policy (how convenient!)—wants a wide swath of deer across the Prairies exterminated—on their accusation that deer spread disease. Odds? Ninety-six percent of Earth’s mammal biomass are humans and livestock (36 and 60 per cent respectively); wild mammals are 4 per cent—three-quarters of the planets birds are domestic chickens. Yet, we’re told, a tiny scattering of wild animals, who’ve co-existed here for eons, are pests, invaders, and disease spreaders that must be exterminated. 

If we keep letting economists and the corporate lobby manage our ecosystem, it’s not just wildlife that will disappear. The whole system will collapse.

Bryan Stawychny, Edgewater