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Emergence of wildlife in 2024 after lockdown

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Welcome to the Emergence of wildlife during lockdown.

The pandemic has ensured less human interaction and intervention in wildlife. With communities of millions stuck inside during a global pandemic, an absence of human activity has led to an increase in wildlife activity.

By Jerónimo Roure Pérez

Animals around the globe have certainly not missed out on an opportunity to explore deserted popular areas and city centers.

With the temporary closure of national parks/ protected conservation areas, wildlife has taken its own course. From brown bears in Yosemite National Park, USA to lions roaming in Kruger National Park. These stories and supported footage certainly feel surreal, in matching a pandemic-state 2020 world. However, instead of exploring or venturing, some species are enjoying the solitude that is not often afforded to them due to the tourism sector. And although some run-ins with wildlife have been entertaining or endearing from afar. Others have been comedic and disruptive, descending on towns and communities with little concern.

Are you curious to find out which animals have been spotted around the world, during lockdown? Read ahead or jump to the headline of your interest.

Key Points

IntroductionThe pandemic has led to less human interaction in wildlife areas, resulting in increased wildlife activity worldwide.
Wildlife Reclaiming SpacesAnimals are exploring deserted tourist destinations and city centers due to reduced human activity during lockdowns.
Notable Wildlife Sightings– Coyotes and black bears in Yosemite National Park, USA.
– Lions in Kruger National Park, South Africa.
– Caracals in Cape Town, SA
– Wild boars in Israel.
– Pink flamingos in Albania.
Herds of dugongs in Thailand.
– Cougars in Santiago, Chile.
– Herd of wild goats in Wales, UK.
Reduction of Greenhouse Gas EmissionsLockdowns led to a significant reduction in pollution, improving air quality temporarily.
Negative Effects on ConservationEconomic standstill and closure of tourism sectors impacted conservation efforts, leading to animal culling and poaching risks.
Donate for Conservation EffortsEncouragement to donate to conservation organizations that have been affected by the pandemic.
Greater Respect for Wildlife Post-COVIDCalls for environmental awareness and ecotourism practices to protect nature and prioritize conservation.
Ecotourism and Environmental TipsTips for eco-conscious travel and practicing ecotourism to minimize environmental impact while traveling.

Coronavirus Pandemic backdrop

Following the 2019 outbreak of the coronavirus, life as we know it has come to a grinding halt; economically and socially. As cases of COVID-19 have steadily risen, communities across the world have been forced to social distance with plans of travel taking a backseat.

Although many livelihoods have been threatened, one thing has been made clear; wildlife has re-emerged in the absence of tourism and where once crowded, busy, and populated areas stand deserted. This has been a silver lining of hope, an endearing prospect of new beginnings and positive change…

Animals in Lockdown

We have found some of the most shared stories and footage of animals emerging during lockdown…

Coyotes and Black Bears In Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park is one of the most visited natural parks in the United States, situated in the state of California, covers more than 700,000 acres of land.

By USFWS Pacific Southwest Region

With averages of up to 4 million visitors annually, it is a feat of incredible attraction and therefore its conservation is of utmost importance. Due to its cultural indigenous American heritage, Yosemite National Park was designated a World Heritage site in 1984. The Yosemite Valley has been inhabited for 3000 years, with human visitors as early as up to 10000 years ago It is famed for its scenic and impressionable granite cliffs, waterfalls, sequoia groves, lakes, mountains and so much more, and awe-inspiring biological reserve of diversity. Devoted to wilderness and conservation.

By Ellen Finch

In California’s Yosemite National Park, rangers reported seeing bobcats, bears, and coyotes exploring empty tents and administrative buildings without any human distraction. Biologist and ranger , Katie Patrick reported the many roaming black bears and coyotes out and about using the park’s roads to their advantage, exploring the ins and outs of the park infrastructure usually only open to tourists but now used by the resident bears..

Lions In Kruger National Park 

The largest public game reserve in South Africa, The Kruger National Park which was founded in 1898, is the highest-ranking park in Africa, creating the ultimate safari and wildlife encountering experience.

By Entropy1963

Its sheer size is larger than the country of Israel, forming part of the Limpopo Trans frontier park, bordering Mozambique and constituting 20,000 square kilometers.

The Kruger National Park wildlife, especially the lions, have been roaming the game park. The usually elusive lions that can normally be found in bush veld are now lounging on the roads throughout the park. Enjoying the quiet break from the usual bustling of tourism with over a million visitors a year.

Increased Caracal sightings in Cape Town, South Africa

The more commonly elusive cat known as the Caracal/ “rooikat”, has been spotted frequently during Cape Town’s strict lockdown which enforced not even exercise outdoors.

By Leo za1

This has led to a spike in Caracal sightings. Many of these have occurred in the normally busy tourist hub, Simon’s Town, where Caracals have moved closer to the seaside in search of food. Simon’s Town is rich in wildlife and known for its penguin colony. Caracals have also been spotted in Camps Bay and Kloof Nek. A resident caracal, named Hermes has made himself known to local communities who enjoy his guest appearances during lockdown.

Wild Boars in the Streets of Israel

By Valentin Panzirsch

Wild boars have been a source of fear rather than a cuteness factor in communities in Israel.

They have been roaming residential buildings and with residents restricted from outside movement during the lockdown, people have begun to fear the return of the boars. In northern Israel, Haifa, designated ‘ pig patrols’ have been established to keep the wild boar mania managed at any hour.

Increases of Pink Flamingos in Albania 

Lockdown Effects on Albanian Wildlife: The absence of tourists, the mooring of boats, and the quieting of factories due to coronavirus restrictions have had a positive impact on Albania’s wildlife. Pink flamingos and pelicans, in particular, are thriving in the peaceful lagoons that dot the country’s coastline.

By Adam & Tess

The Narta Lagoon, a crucial hub for bird migration along the Adriatic Coast, has recently witnessed a remarkable sight: flocks of flamingos, sometimes numbering in the thousands, soaring freely. The flamingo population in this area has seen an increase of up to one-third, marking a significant achievement in environmental recovery.

The lockdown, necessitated by the pandemic, has led to a resurgence of wildlife in the area. “Wildlife have regained all of their absolute rights and are enjoying all the freedoms of nature,” noted the head of the protected zone. Previously, the survival of flamingos in this region was at risk due to rapid urban development, intense industrial activity, and the resulting impact on delicate ecosystems.

The temporary pause in human activities, including reduced maritime traffic, fewer vehicles on the roads, and lowered noise pollution, has been a boon for wildlife. Additionally, the shutdown of neighboring factories, often criticized for unsustainable practices that polluted water sources and contributed to waste issues, has necessitated a shift towards more environmentally friendly practices. This has given the local ecosystems a much-needed chance to rejuvenate, fostering optimism for a sustainable future.

If you are interested in discovering the most exciting birds from each continent, follow us to Interesting Birds Around the World.

Cougars in Santiago, Chile

By National Park Service

In recent weeks, Chilean officials have observed numerous cougars venturing into city zones. These felines have been seen roaming in a wealthy neighborhood of Santiago during the calm of the evening, coinciding with a countrywide nocturnal curfew implemented because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Marcelo Giagnoni, the regional head of Chile’s Agriculture and Livestock Service (SAG), suggests that the unusual stillness of deserted urban spaces might be luring these typically elusive felines.

Giagnoni notes that an intense drought in the arid regions near Santiago had likely driven the food-seeking cougars towards the outskirts of the city. The deserted, quiet streets provided the final push for these felines to venture into urban areas.

With human expansion increasingly infringing upon natural habitats, encounters between wildlife and humans are on the rise. Enhanced conservation laws have aided in the recovery of previously endangered species, thereby heightening the chances of wildlife encounters in urban settings. This emerging challenge calls for focused attention and measures to safeguard both human communities and wildlife.

Herd of wild goats Northern Wales, UK

A local from Llandudno, Wales, Andrew Stuart, captured the attention of over a million viewers with his video footage showing a group of goats repeatedly visiting the town over several days. These clips, shared by Stuart, a journalist for the Manchester Evening News, have gained widespread attention online.

By William Crochot

Reduction of greenhouse gas emissions

Not only has wildlife had an opportunity to flourish but lockdowns across the world have created all-time records of pollution reduction, improving the quality of air. Although the ultimate goal is for this to be sustained long-term.

Countries saw an average –26% emissions drop at the peak. 2020 emissions depend on lockdown duration: –4% if restrictions ease by mid-June, and –7% if some last till year-end. Post-pandemic policies will shape future CO2 emissions.

Lockdown’s negative effect on animal conservation

During lockdown, some animals thrived, but it also harmed wildlife. The shutdown hit conservation revenue hard, leading to animal culling and poaching. We must focus on funding and raise awareness.

This issue is critical because it affects low-income countries with rich biodiversity, and the pandemic hits their economies hard. Tourism revenue supports conservation and communities, but it’s fragile.

While city wildlife is a bright spot, it won’t save the world’s wildlife. We need urgent relief efforts, making conservation a top post-pandemic priority.

Greater respect for wildlife post-Coronavirus

The unfolding COVID-19 pandemic is having undeniable human and economic impacts. At current, the virus has caused more than 500,000 confirmed deaths worldwide, millions of job losses and stock markets have plummeted internationally.

By Kandukuru Nagarjun

The ongoing pandemic sharply highlights the imbalances in our interaction with the natural world. Our prevailing economic model exerts immense strain on the environment.

In a world that’s increasingly interconnected and dynamic, with factors like frequent air travel, wildlife trade, and climate shifts, the risk of future severe disease outbreaks is considerable. Pandemics are often an overlooked consequence of economic growth and disparities, underscoring issues that demand attention. Essentially, much like carbon is a symptom rather than the root of climate change, many pandemics are spurred not by nature itself, but by human actions and interventions.

Nature should be part of the solution.

This coronavirus crisis has demonstrated our socioeconomic system’s inherent vulnerability to sudden change/ unpreparedness. As businesses assess how to emerge from this crisis and plans emerge for post-pandemic living, the state in which the environment is supported, has to be of key concern. The decisions made on how to stimulate growth and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic will determine the future health, wellbeing and stability of people and the planet.

This is why the practicing of ecotourism and environmentally conscious travel will be of utmost importance when tourism once again commences.


Ecotourism is about uniting conservation, communities, and sustainable travel. This has to reflect in the implementation marketing of and, participation in ecotourism practice and principles. They follow as:

  • Minimize the discernible effects on the physical, social, behavioral, and psychological aspects.
  • Cultivate an awareness that encompasses both environmental and cultural facets, emphasizing regard for local communities, the preservation of biodiversity, and conscientious resource utilization.
  • Facilitate positive encounters that mutually benefit both visitors and hosts.
  • Generate direct financial advantages for conservation efforts.
  • Generate financial gains for both local communities and private enterprises.
  • Provide memorable interpretative encounters for visitors that contribute to heightened awareness of the political, environmental, and social landscapes of host countries.
  • Develop, build, and operate facilities that have minimal impact and are geared towards sustainability.
  • Acknowledge and honor the rights and customs of Indigenous People in your community, collaborating with them to promote empowerment, involving local communities in decision-making processes and profit-sharing.

You can read more about Ecotourism here:The International Ecotourism Society

Environmental Tips

A few examples to practice Eco-conscious travelling.

  1. Choose Sustainability Over Plastic: Cherish your vacation memories without the environmental cost. Opt for reusable alternatives instead of plastic bags, which can linger for centuries before breaking down.
  2. Lighten Your Luggage: When flying, every extra kilogram counts. Lighter loads mean reduced fuel consumption.
  3. Embrace Public Transit: Opting for public transportation while traveling not only reduces your carbon footprint compared to private vehicles, but it also enriches your journey with local interactions.
  4. Opt for Overland Travel: Skipping just one five-hour flight significantly lowers your carbon emissions and offers you a scenic exploration of the landscape.
  5. Eco-conscious Hotel Habits: Treat your hotel stay as you would your home. Conserve by using towels more than once, taking shorter showers, and ensuring electronics and lights are off when not in use.
  6. Support Green Travel: When planning your trip, consider eco-friendly and local tourism options that focus on carbon offsetting and environmental preservation.
  7. Respect Nature Trails: While hiking, stick to marked paths and keep a respectful distance from wildlife. Venturing off-track can harm fragile ecosystems and endangered species.
  8. Smaller Groups, Bigger Impact: Choose small-group travel with eco-conscious operators. Inquire about group size and how the tour contributes to local communities.

Embracing these practices as #responsiblenomads is crucial. Our travel choices have impacts, and it’s up to us to make decisions that support sustainability and hold others accountable for eco-friendly practices. Together, we can be part of a sustainable solution.

Summary on Emergence of wildlife during lockdown

2020-2022 has brought with it, many challenges to communities across the globe, but it may have also created a unique opportunity to re-evaluate and re-innovate systems that are not aligned with sustainability.

YouTube video

Emerging into a post- lockdown state, there exists an opportunity to create and inspire positive changes toward a more intrinsically environmental state. Where both wildlife and human communities can thrive together in mutual benefit.

If you enjoyed reading this you may enjoy our blogs about the Interesting Birds you can see around the world, or even our blog on the Top 10 Safari Parks in Africa, which will surely inspire you to start planning your next trip and animal encounter! Take a look at the above clips of some animals enjoying lockdown without humans.

We hope you enjoyed this. Let us know if you’ve witnessed any emergence of wildlife during lockdown near you?

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How does COVID-19 affect the environment negatively?

COVID-19 has led to an increase in single-use plastic waste due to the use of disposable masks, gloves, and other personal protective equipment (PPE).
The pandemic resulted in a surge in medical waste, including discarded PPE, which can pose risks to the environment if not disposed of properly.
Reduced human activity during lockdowns has led to wildlife encroachment into urban areas, causing conflicts and disruptions.

What are the effects of COVID-19 lockdown on wildlife in Deccan Plateau, India?

With reduced human activity and movement, wildlife in the Deccan Plateau may have experienced less disturbance and increased exploration of urban and human-dominated areas.
Specific impacts may include sightings of wildlife in residential areas, interactions with humans, and possible changes in animal behavior.

How does the social grouping of animals in nature protect against sickness a perspective?

The social grouping of animals in nature can offer various protective mechanisms against sickness and disease. These behaviors have evolved over time as strategies to increase the overall survival and fitness of the species.

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