Dangers of Construction Projects to WildlifeThe clearing of a construction site poses an immediate threat to wildlife in the area. Heavy machinery enters the designated construction zone and removes all existing trees and plant life. Depending on the time of year, many animals may not escape the path of destruction, resulting in hundreds of deaths. The animals that do escape are homeless, their nests destroyed, and sometimes, their feeding grounds eliminated. Clearings are not the only risks to wildlife. Construction zones increase the air and water pollution in the surrounding areas. Also, construction sites increase the threat of fire and vandalism. Construction for the sake of human progress is a detriment to existing wildlife, including flora and fauna.
Noise and Light Pollution Interfere With WildlifeBesides the physical disturbances, construction sites are loud and bright. Many crews can work long hours well into the night, especially with approaching deadlines. The unyielding noise and light pollution can interfere with the feeding and sleep patterns of resident wildlife. Nocturnal animals become confused and frightened by the unrelenting commotion. The work drives animals out of the surrounding areas, disturbing the natural order. Chasing animals out of their habitat, even unintentionally, can serve as a death sentence for some species. Raccoons, for instance, have a specific foraging and nesting ground of about three to six square kilometres. The construction of new neighbourhoods can drive the animal outside its comfort zone, forcing it to re-establish dens and feeding grounds. Depending on the time of year, the forced evacuation can cause significant and life-threatening distress.
Preparation Before Construction Can HelpNo one is saying all construction is bad. Sometimes, human population shifts warrant residential construction. Despite the need for construction, companies can find better ways to accomplish it, such as:
- Identifying and avoiding at-risk habitats
- Avoiding areas that are home to wildlife requiring large habitats
- Limiting or eliminating project sites that are home to species with low reproductive pedigree
You Can Help After Construction Is CompleteMany homeowners are not aware of the ecological costs of new home construction. Once aware, many homebuyers feel guilty about their decision to build instead of buying an existing house. Guilt does nothing for conservation, but the action does. When you move into your new home, you can help re-establish wildlife. Some things you can do to help include:
- Installing bird feeders with nutrient-rich seeds
- Planting pollinator-friendly gardens
- Building a brush pile
- Providing a soggy spot for butterflies and other wildlife