Protect wildlife from development
The deer that recently crashed through the front window of a Kanata residence shows how badly this city needs a wildlife construction protocol. As one passerby indicated, the incident was just one of several in the last few days, saying “Something is pushing them out of their natural habitat, and I don’t know if it’s all this extreme building going on in Bridlewood and Stittsville.”
Well, that’s a pretty safe bet. Many of the thousands of callers to the Ottawa-Carleton Wildlife Centre’s telephone hotline over a decade ago reported that they had never experienced a problem with wildlife until a new development had eliminated natural habitat in their neighbourhood. Today, that would be even more the case given the extensive development that is occurring in natural areas.
The city’s draft Protocol for Wildlife Protection During Construction includes a number of sensible recommendations to reduce the direct impacts of development on wildlife while also helping homeowners avoid conflicts with animals. Whether these recommendations are watered down to the point of being useless because of opposition from the development industry will be determined this fall when the protocol goes to council.
Make no mistake, if there is not an effective protocol approved, wildlife will continue to suffer while homeowners pay for the cost of conflicts that could have easily been avoided and cynicism builds about developments that brand themselves as being close to nature but show little regard for it.
Donna DuBreuil, Ottawa-Carleton Wildlife Centre