Why do humans generally react when the horse has bolted. . . .
To a degree this is a follow on from the Bullfrog article.
There was a whole outcry about the protection of the Giant African Bullfrog in Midrand, but by the time this had been done a huge area of their range was destroyed. A number of known breeding areas were destroyed, migratory routes blocked and destroyed and nothing was said by the authorities or the public. Things have changed now that the environmental laws are a lot more stringent and form part of development policies. This is a great move forward, but the impact of them to nature vs development I honestly do not know. But is this too late.
At times from some of the reports I have been exposed to they appear to be very much viewing to site and not the big picture. An isolated little patch of land on the high side of a housing scheme right up against a road with development surrounding it and only a few hundred sq.m. will serve little purpose in my view. This was deemed a wetland by plant species that were growing in the area and a couple of other aspects….but it was largely formed by the dumping of rubble. When development goes ahead the rubble will be removed and a boundary wall constructed at which point this ‘wetland’ will die. However they wanted this area to protect a plant, wetland and could have even been for animal.
That is great, but what about movement of an animals from there, movement of animals to the wetland or further growth / distribution of a plant species. Surrounded by development this is not really going to happen. To me the focus should rather be looking at master plans similar to that of roads, to create corridors for movement of species and linking of biodiverse areas. Unless it is impossible to relocate, rather relocate protected species to protected corridors creating lungs within cities and urban areas.
This will allow developers to fully utilise their site, obviously being to their advantage or they will have a known boundary for an environmental corridors predefined as with roads. I am sure the environmental consultants will cringe at my ignorance, and this may be true. I am not claiming to be an expert, but looking at a concept as a layman and from observations within schemes. Cars, screaming kids, polluted water and litter are not great for nature. Sure animals don’t follow road signs to say, ‘don’t go here.’
Larger open areas will by default bring in nature and the bigger these areas are the more diverse for a balance to occur. One big problem in SA is safety and security of these area. We can try pretend, but it is an unfortunate reality with either illegal structures being erected or crime inflicted on those who are using it. Unless you have parks cut and security all over the place, they are a security risk. A whole different topic I am not getting in to. For the majority of urban areas though it is too late to introduce these lungs/ corridors.
The drought in UK/ Europe at the moment (2022) is another case of waking up late. Perhaps cause we live in a dry climate we understand the value of water and rather bring in water restrictions sooner than later. They have been waiting assuming the rain will come, which may be the case, but at what cost to the reservoirs/ dams. Will they recover in time to carry the population through the dry times. Eastern Cape were also ‘bright’, waiting for days worth of water left in the reservoirs/ dams before they suddenly realised they needed to fix the 3000+ leaks in the municipal supply system. These should have been repaired when they happened, not at nearly day zero. Its cheaper to repair at the time, rather than wasting water and creating further damage to infrastructure. Another topic I wont get into is municipal service delivery in SA. It was too late for some regions with the taps running dry.
There is also more chance with early intervention by authorities and private to protect a region or species. The greater the gene pool, the easier it is to minimise the risk of a species become critically endangered or extinct, the less movement of animals around the world on a stud book to try breed as genetically diverse specimens as possible. The specimens could well have been in a province originally, now could be elsewhere on a continent or worse yet, another continent. The earlier we react to resolve any problem the better, the same as it is to resolve a problem in our own lives.
When problems arise in your life, face them head on sooner rather than later. Not necessarily like a ‘bull in a china shop’, you still need thought, but don’t play possum or ostrich and stick your head in the sand and hope it will just go. Problems generally don’t, they normally get bigger left unattended, or more expensive. Look at it as a wound. A fresh wound treated and kept clean is easy to maintain and keep ahead of, but left to go septic is a whole new ballgame. Medication, possible surgery, debridement etc… Tackle it head on, its not aptitude but attitude that often wins/ leads. It shouldn’t be left to be too late before humans spring into action.