Halloween weekend is traditionally filled with images of bats, owls, spiders and other animals that cause fear in many. But a national wildlife organization urges Halloween celebrants not to be afraid of themselves, but rather to consider the idea that traditional Halloween creatures may face more frightening and long-lasting threats. term.
“Instead of being afraid of these animals, we should be afraid for them,” said Megan Quinn, conservation biology coordinator at the Nature Conservancy of Canada.
Many species are endangered, Quinn said, adding that Halloween provides a good opportunity to get to know them better and learn about their interactions with humans, far from scary.
“People might not understand why organizations like the Nature Conservancy of Canada are trying to protect them, or worse yet, they might be openly hostile to these creatures who are trying to do their best to survive,” she said. Saturday in an interview.
Quinn said that while the legends of bats, vampires, wolves and werewolves make great stories, the haunting images have contributed to negative stereotypes for many animals.
“I think we have a lot of old scary legends and myths. We’ve been talking about things like vampires and werewolves for centuries, and these are great and fun stories for Halloween, but they contribute to the stereotypes that make people afraid, ”she said.
A common legend presents the concept of bats drinking blood. Quinn said that while there are bats around the world that do, none of the 18 species found in Canada are. However, they help humans by eating large numbers of mosquitoes every night.
“They’re all insectivores, which means they eat insects,” Quinn said.
Quinn said that while owls can look strange and look creepy with their large eyes, they are useful in controlling rodent populations.
She said people can help different species by planting native flowers, setting up bat boxes, and even not raking fall leaves so insects and other food sources for small animals can be found. protected during winter.
Kevin Bissett, The Canadian Press
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