The corona crisis gives nature a respite: environmentalists like Michael Schödl from the Bavarian State Association for Bird Protection are now hoping for a larger brood, for example the sandpiper, which is one of the pebble-breeding birds. Above all, the crowds of visitors to Bavarian rivers in the warm season often disturb the birds during breeding. It could be different this spring.
« It is crucial for the birds to choose their breeding site. If they are left alone, they can do it more carefully. But if there are many disruptions in the breeding site selection, they are sometimes pushed into suboptimal areas with negative consequences. » Michael Schödl, Bavarian State Association for Bird Protection
Fear of too many vacationers at home in summer
The grouse black grouse also benefit from the current unusual calm. So that this peace of mind is not short-lived, Micheal Schödl takes care of summer time: with yellow STOP signs on sensitive gravel banks. Because there is a danger for the bird conservationist:
« If a lot of people avoid going on vacation to Spain or Italy now, they may be more likely to vacation with us. In recent years we have noticed that the pressure in the wild rivers increases a lot because a lot of people are here. » Michael Schödl, Bavarian State Association for Bird Protection
According to Schödl, humans can only experience the abundance of animal species if they are considerate. That is why you have to ensure a good co-existence.
« Then people have a place to experience the river, and birds have a place to do the most important thing in their life – raising youngsters. » Michael Schödl, Bavarian State Association for Bird Protection
Less trade in exotic animals thanks to Corona?
The trade in exotic wild animals, as is common in countries like China, could also decline through Corona. Because this practice is believed to be the source of the epidemic. But even here in Germany exotic pets can transmit life-threatening diseases, says activist Katharina Lameter from the animal protection organization Pro Wildlife.
« In 2012 and 2013 there was the Borna virus in Germany, a total of four people died, which means that the infected animals have transmitted an illness to humans. » Katharina Lameter, animal welfare organization Pro Wildlife
At that time, the Borna viruses were transmitted by colored squirrels from the squirrel genus. Animal rights activists have long been complaining about inadequate controls on animal sales and the lack of import restrictions. From the point of view of animal rights activists, it would make sense to have a positive list of exotic animals that are suitable for keeping in private ownership.
Is global warming slowing down now?
And the climate? Will it improve thanks to Corona? That is not yet in sight, says Patrick Graichen, director of the « Agora Energiewende » initiative. The organization is a kind of think tank in energy policy:
« Where we end up with CO2 emissions is still open, it also depends on politics: if it does it well, it will be a step towards investments in renewable and clean technologies. For example, green steelworks or electromobility – then the emissions will stay down. If we just start up as it was before and possibly lag behind investments in renewable energies, then the emissions will continue to be high. » Patrick Graichen, director of the « Agora Energiewende » initiative
Solar systems as reliable power generators
Satellite images show that pollutant emissions are falling significantly in industrialized countries. Renewable energies are currently proving to be crisis-proof: While, for example, employees of several nuclear power plants in Switzerland have already contracted Covid-19 and operators have to worry about continuing operations, wind and solar power plants can score with their low personnel requirements.
« Wind and solar systems generally require relatively little maintenance. So at a time when people should stay at home, solar systems are reliable electricity producers. » Patrick Graichen, director of the « Agora Energiewende » initiative
What effect the virus will have on animals and the climate in the end will only become clear when the corona crisis is over.