Picture a Mediterranean sunset, and a gorgeous glow over one of the most ancient and beautiful cities in the world. Suddenly an ominous, dark cloud passes overhead, seemingly out of nowhere. The form moves in a strangely hypnotizing manner, turning left and right, swooping up and down, clearly not being controlled by any breeze. The locals immediately duck for cover or open their umbrellas. The beleaguered citizens of Rome in Italy know only too well what comes next – and it isn’t just a spot of rain.
These days, it is easy to think of nature as a fragile thing, easily contaminated and destroyed. And while it is true that ecosystems are sensitive to change, the natural world is also remarkably resilient and adaptable. After all, living organisms have had to evolve with an ever-changing Planet Earth from the beginning.
One way the world has changed in recent centuries is through humanity’s increased appetite for urban life. In Europe, this transition to predominately town-and-city living has happened over the duration of about a thousand years. And, of course, the phenomenon was greatly accelerated by the industrial revolution of the late-19th century. But, not only have people had to learn to adjust to this, wild animals have also had to find new ways to live in these man-made environments.