Saturday, August 27, 2011

Construction, displacement and species biasness.

Hey ya'll

more construction in the university grounds... which is fortunate for students, because they will no doubt be getting awesomer and awesomer facilities (although, I have this theory that students will never be completely satisfied with their Alma Maters until they have left them permanently... perhaps not even then) but is mostly unfortunate for the wildlife that have begun to call this place their home. It was amazing enough that I managed to find fireflies on campus grounds awhile ago (there's a large man-made lake nearby) but it seems that they too, like a particularly ghost-like barn owl I caught swooping over the carpark some warm nights, have left this land for greener pastures. A pity, really, as I would have loved to observe them further and to greater detail. However, I suppose the ability to adapt is one of nature's key deciding factors in the evolutionary arms race for survival, and creatures that have grown, or can efficiently grow, accustomed to mankind's modification of the living world are the ones who - like us - can continue to thrive. Take these guys, for example - the tawny coster butterfly (acraea terpsicore) of the heliconia family. They not only have seemed to survive the leveling of the many groves surrounding the area which they call their home, they seemed to  have continued to thrive! I attribute this mostly to the diversity of the larvae's diet (they will consume a wide variety of passiflora vines which - fortunately - grow quite opportunistically as weeds in great abundance in urban settings. And it is this tenacity that I admire in some species but not in ours. Hmmm... species biasness I suppose. What's up with that?

Tawny Coster pupa on wire-mesh fence. 

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