The National Academy of Sciences published new research which suggests animals are migrating away from predominantly black neighborhoods towards predominantly white ones, possibly due to systemic racism.
The authors of the study, Chloé Schmidt and Colin J. Garroway, both from the University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, argue systemic racism is a broader societal issue that is influencing urban development and environmental factors, including wildlife diversity.
It is crucial to highlight the study does not suggest developers are intentionally discriminating against black neighborhoods.
Instead, the study contends that systemic racism, which led to residential segregation, is impacting the demographics of urban wildlife populations, resulting in smaller populations with a lower likelihood of long-term survival.
Systemic Racism Impacting Urban Wildlife Demographics, Study Finds
Residential segregation has caused race-based disparities in access to natural resources, land use, pollution, and habitat connectivity, resulting in more favorable wildlife habitats in areas that historically banned minorities.
The study found that predominantly non-white neighborhoods have smaller, less genetically diverse wildlife populations that are more fragmented.
The harmful consequences of racial design and habitat degradation on hereditary composition were evident across most taxa, regardless of the urban area in which the samples were taken.
The decline in wildlife populations is just one of the consequences of systemic racism in urban development. This can lead to a range of other issues, such as health disparities, economic inequality, and social injustice.
"Wild animals are now racists."
You would think that the Left would be tired of shouting that word at every opportunity by now.
New study determines animals are fleeing black neighborhoods because of systemic racism 🤡 https://t.co/aCUSAmKoej via @Not_the_Bee
— Paramedic Pastor (@revjohnmckay) February 16, 2023
It is important to acknowledge that animals are not capable of engaging in racist behavior and are merely responding to changes in the urban landscape.
However, these changes can affect the well-being of human communities, as well. The impact of systemic racism is not limited to animal populations, but extends to human populations, as well.
Promoting disparities in natural resource availability, land use, pollution, habitat connectivity, residential segregation, and other forms of systemic racism can lead to changes in the demographics of urban wildlife populations.
The Impact of Systemic Racism on Wildlife
New study determines animals are fleeing black neighborhoods because of systemic racism 🤡 https://t.co/XvqZ8OqkEz via @Not_the_Bee
— CatRocket (@FastCatRocket) February 16, 2023
The study suggests the environmental patterns associated with historical and ongoing racial segregation in US cities have contributed to similar patterns in wildlife demographics, as indicated by genetic data.
The authors state that greater awareness and action are needed to address systemic issues and promote greater equity in urban development and environmental policies.
A multi-pronged approach that considers the needs of all members of society, including both human and animal populations, is essential in addressing these complex issues.
Although certain areas may experience high levels of crime and other issues, the study highlights how systemic factors are influencing the urban landscape and affecting wildlife populations.
By addressing systemic racism and promoting greater equity in urban development and environmental policies, we can help to preserve wildlife populations and promote the well-being of human communities.This article appeared in TheDailyBeat and has been published here with permission.