Coronavirus lockdown, good for Amsterdam underwater wildlife


This video from the Netherlands says about itself:

Great Crested Grebe with chicks

Some urban birding…

Podiceps cristatus with 2 little ones in the centre of the city…

Amsterdam, Holland 05-06-2015

Translated from Dutch NOS radio today:

Twelve divers have today dived into the canals of Amsterdam to investigate underwater life. They investigated how nature developed during the lockdown. During those few months there was much less boat traffic on the water of the capital.

In the Amstel river near the Carré theater, the divers saw far more small crayfish than usual. And a school of small perch was found in the former harbour of the Marineterrein. More plants also grew. In the ring canal in the Watergraafsmeer district, the divers encountered the most diverse underwater life. They found zander, eels and whole schools of small fish there.

To the surprise of the divers, there were also water plants in the water of the Keizersgracht canal. That is special, because the canals normally function as “a closed container”, says ecologist and initiator Jeroen van Herk. “If aquatic plants grow in the canals, then that will affect the entire ecosystem. The water will be purified, which will be followed by crayfish, insects and fish.”

In an article published in Nature Ecology & Evolution today (22 June 2020), the leaders of a new global initiative explain how research during this devastating health crisis can inspire innovative strategies for sharing space on this increasingly crowded planet, with benefits for both wildlife and humans. Many countries around the world went into lockdown to control the spread of Covid-19. Brought about by the most tragic circumstances, this period of unusually reduced human mobility, which the article’s authors coined “anthropause,” can provide invaluable insights into human-wildlife interactions: here.

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