With countries implementing lockdown measures due to COVID-19, humans have been staying close to home and pollution from driving and aviation has dropped dramatically. While the life-changing repercussions of the pandemic should not be downplayed, the positive impact on nature has been a welcome surprise.
What nature really is and how we screwed it up.
This is Dhauladhar mountain range of Himachal, visible after 30 yrs, from Jalandhar (Punjab) after pollution drops to its lowest level. This is approx. 200 km away straight. #Lockdown21 #MotherNature #Global healing. pic.twitter.com/cvZqbWd6MR
— Diksha Walia (@Deewalia) April 3, 2020
While residents of the Indian state of Punjab stayed indoors, many were treated to incredible views of the Himalayas from their homes. Taking to social media to share images, one local wrote: “For the first time in almost 30 years [I] could see the Himalayas due to India’s lockdown clearing air pollution.” India saw a huge improvement in air quality, with Delhi’s PM10 pollution levels (particles found in dust and smoke) reduced by 44% on the first day of lockdown.
Here's an unexpected side effect of the pandemic – the water's flowing through the canals of Venice is clear for the first time in forever. The fish are visible, the swans returned. pic.twitter.com/2egMGhJs7f
— Kaveri 🇮🇳 (@ikaveri) March 16, 2020
As the population of Venice adhered to strict self-isolation measures, the city’s wildlife came into its own. Amazed locals shared images of the canals’ crystal-clear waters, exposing shoals of fish, seaweed and crabs. Ducks nested at the water’s edge and cormorants returned to fish in canals. This incredible change was due to the lack of boat traffic, which usually churns up the muddy canal floor, disturbing wildlife and affecting the water’s clarity.
Un puma de aproximadamente 25 kilos y un año de edad se encuentra rondando en las cercanias de la plaza Augusto D’Almar en la comuna de Nuñoa donde personal del SAG intenta capturarlo adormeciendolo mediante dardos.
Andres Pina/Aton Chile pic.twitter.com/V1CTF22CYB
— Aton Chile Agencia Total de Noticias (@AtonChile) March 24, 2020
Chile’s capital, Santiago, would ordinarily be teeming with tourists and city workers. However, the unusually quiet streets attracted a very special guest: a curious puma. Believed to have come down from the surrounding hills, the animal was captured and taken to Santiago zoo for tests, where it was confirmed it is “in good health”.
Usually known as timid animals, deer braved the streets of East London’s Harold Hill. Groups as large as 15 were spotted lazing around and grazing on grassy patches as the UK’s capital enjoyed a mild start to spring. One local even snapped a picture of a small child feeding a carrot to one of its new antlered friends.
A coyote stands by the roadside at Golden Gate Bridge View Vista Point across from San Francisco, California. More top photos from the month of April: https://t.co/iG75TUB5vy 📷 Shannon Stapleton pic.twitter.com/F5uhfiPFLW
— Reuters Pictures (@reuterspictures) May 3, 2020
They’re hardly unusual in the US but coyotes tend to keep to themselves in cities, roaming the streets only at night. As the footfall slowed however, the elusive animals were spotted in broad daylight in Downtown San Francisco and even on the Golden Gate Bridge.
เป็ดที่กรุงปารีส ประเทศฝรั่งเศส ก็ร่วมรณรงค์มาตรการ “การรักษาระยะห่างทางสังคม” #SocialDistance โดยรักษาระยะห่างในการยืนรอคิวที่จะเข้าร้านเบเกอรี่เป็ด (the duck boulangerie)
🥖🦆 🦆 🦆#โควิด19 #COVID19 #ไวรัสโคโรนา #coronavirus #Paris #France pic.twitter.com/hV5TAFcxZn
— pone poyepoloye (@motorwars) May 9, 2020
Traffic levels dropped as Paris urged people to stay home. The strangely quiet streets must have seemed appealing to ducks, who were spotted waddling through the city without a care in the world.
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I think I've discovered the enemy's weakness… Hedges! If we put hedges everywhere in town they'll be too busy eating to take over! . . What's that? You say we already have hedges on almost every property in town? So, they aren't going to take over? I've been overreacting you say? . #llandudno #llandudnogoats
The Welsh seaside town of Llandudno seemed strangely empty without its usual tourist crowds. But as the streets remained quiet, a confident herd of mountain goats decided to venture out of the rocky Great Orme and past the closed shops and cafés.
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