It always pains me to see Development via Habitat Destruction. It just does. I know growth is necessary, I understand some development projects are important and beneficial in a variety of ways- I get it. What I don't get and what doesn't sit well with me is when I see habitat destroyed.
Now, when I drive up Railroad Ave and Lakeland Ave- I can't help but feel sadness. The new development project at the fork of Lakeland and Johnson has begun.
I believe approximately 5 acres are currently being developed- 5 acres of woodland in our beautiful town of Sayville- Gone. 5 acres of wildlife habitat -Gone. I've seen a family of Racoons, Opossums, I've head Owls, neighbor's have seen Red fox, birds of prey and song birds nest there, a variety of native snakes, frogs and toads are live there as I'm sure, believe it or not- hundreds (yes, hundreds) of other differenct species that call that woodland home.
Take a walk through that area today and you may find displaced screech owls that live in cavities of trees. As a former wildlife rehabilitator, a high percentage of injured Owls came to us from cut down tree's. I also guarantee many displaced animals will be looking for new homes in or near the surrounding neighborhoods. They have to go somewhere. To me, it is just sad.
As part of a healthy ecosystem animals and plants are needed, the more we arradicate our woodlands, the unhealthier our ecosystem becomes. Each animal and plant has a niche, a job, a responsibiotiy for OUR habitat, OUR space. Don't like snakes? They keep your mice and rat population down. Don't like Mice/Rats? The poison you use to kill them can poison and kill our pets and other wildlife. It goes on and on- it's all connected.
My point is- habitat is important too. I'd like to see a town that considers all factor's before development projects are approved and acres of trees, plants and animals are removed and destroyed.
How can we help? If you find an injured or displaced animal, please call Sweetbriar Nature Center in Smithtown (631-979-6344).
There is a Habitat Protection initiative out East called "Save What's Left". I wish we could bring that initiive Island wide. We are an Island. We can't grow more land- we are what we are and when it's gone, it's gone.