Can we all just coexist?

We humans going about our daily lives have profound impacts on wildlife. Lots of things we do affect the organisms around us, from pollution, noise, garbage, food waste, hitting things with cars, salting roads for winter, building places for us to live; the list goes on. And on, and on and on. So what can we do about it? Demolishing cities or not expanding them doesn’t seem like a viable option, so researchers are looking at ways we can coexist with wildlife and do the least harm. Our infographic is about a study from New York to see what kind of spaces promoted diversity in environments dominated by humans.

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Tree Squirrels of North America

For North Americans, squirrels (particularly eastern greys) are probably the most frequently encountered wildlife species. They’re everywhere, and they’re super cute. But did you know there are many more species of this charismatic critter than those most likely hanging out in your yard or local park? That’s not even counting ground squirrels or flying squirrels. And, not all of them like hanging around humans as much as eastern grey or fox squirrels. AND—get this—not all of them hoard acorns. In fact some of them don’t even eat acorns. Whaaaat!

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Cities’ shrinking gene pools

Looking around a city or suburb, you might think that mammals are doing pretty well. There are pizza rats and egg roll squirrels, mice in the basement, rabbits in the garden, raccoons in the garbage bins, woodchucks under the shed, deer bounding over fences, maybe some skunks skulking around the yard. Yeah, mammals have it pretty good.

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Is more DNA better?

Plants are pretty flexible when it comes to chromosome numbers. Whole genome duplications–aka, when a whole extra set of chromosomes are made by accident– is a major route by which plants evolve. Humans, by contrast, generally have 2 copies of each chromosome. If this same mutation were to happen in a human egg or sperm cell, it would nope outta there. Pretty normal day in the plant kingdom, though.

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