Evolution allows species to adapt to their surroundings, so the species can meet a market and live to procreate and continue. Those species which didn’t evolve quickly enough and were not able to change their localized living spaces are with us, or risk joining the list of endangered species and then, possibly eventual extinction. Let us discuss how humans are changing not only our own surroundings but the environment we share with other species and how that impacts their adaptations and evolutionary procedure.
The research examines the evolutionary changes which are being brought on by the way streets slice and dice our airplane.”
I want to add street noise, interfering in the searching and evading process of character, and urban heat island effect. Additionally, hunting by humans, simpler access to creatures that hangout near roads for roadkill, heat, or water runoff – and poisoning by individuals who place toxins out to prevent rodents and gophers from digging burrows under the roadway or to neighboring flood control levees and infrastructures.
Road Noise – Harder to listen to predators or prey. There are lots of road Kill studies – one I often like to mention is by Sean Anderson of California State University Channel Islands in CA. One of his graduate students has a thesis of interest; “Web-Based Reporting System for Road Kill” that was a remarkably insightful project as to how many animals are killed annually in rural areas in California. Those animals who prevent roads live to procreate, people who don’t frequently get smushed, providing protein for scavengers who take advantage of the new food source – sometimes at their own peril.
Those animals that listen for automobiles, or watch attentively and respond quickly endure and flourish, procreate and continue. Nocturnal Animals that don’t freeze in automobile headlights – well, they live and procreate also, people who don’t perish and become road pizza.
There have been a number of stories about mountain lions murdered on southern California Freeways – trying to cross. You would think a mountain lion could learn and be agile enough to escape the way – not so, as nothing they have ever encountered weighs 6,000 pounds. And chases after them at 60+ mph, so they aren’t on the watch for cars. Even though some of the mountain lions labeled have traditionally spanned freeways in CA, maybe they’re adapting and learning, teaching their young, possibly in 20-generations adaptations will begin to appear as they evolve with this new danger?
A recent statistical study revealed that the normal point in america is less than 1/2 mile from a paved street. Our wildlife must adapt or perish to address these changes in their surroundings. You can just imagine the many ways these and other issues are altering their evolutionary adaptation. BTW – I’m not an environmentalist or an advocate for wildlife, but nobody can deny what I have mentioned here today isn’t real.