Our mobility has its price, it depletes landscape, destroys habitats, pollutes the air and can be deadly for humans and even more often for animals.
I would like to present some of these animal road victims in this article. I, too, am very mobile, by the way. How many animals have died from my bicycle tyres, I have no idea. But I am not to blame for the deaths presented here.
Even though they look similar, shrews are not related to mice. They feed on small insects, worms, crustaceans and spiders. They are also said to eat snails, but probably not the Spanish Slug (Arion vulgaris). So there is no harm in having them in the garden.
European Rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus)
The European Rabbits in my neighbourhood appear all day long. They are not shy, but register it as soon as you focus on them. As long as I just pass them, they remain sitting, then our distance can be only a few centimetres. With a camera in my hand, they do not grant me this trust.
The carcasses are not only eaten by blowflies, especially for corvids the dead rabbits are an important food resource.
European Hedgehog (Erinaceus europaeus)
The hedgehogs shown here have died from car traffic. I shot the specimen above in January, it would have been better if it had not interrupted its hibernation.
A hedgehog has lived in my allotment for several years. He occasionally shits on the paths or loses a blood-soaked tick. These are the negative aspects of our coexistence. Otherwise he has a lot of consideration for me. He doesn’t show himself while there are still people in the garden. If I go watering early in the morning in summer, he leaves the bed or the meadow when I arrive.
Lesser Stag Beetle (Dorcus parallelipipedus)
This Lesser Stag Beetle did not make it alive across the cycle path in front of my garden. The beetle from the stag beetle family, which grows to just over 3 centimetres long, lives in parks, gardens and green spaces with old trees.
The ants that tried to dispose of it also seem to be dead, at least they don’t look very much alive in the photo.
The adult beetles are diurnal and nocturnal, they feed on the sap of trees. The larvae live in the rotten wood, which is why some old apple tree trunks are allowed to rot in my garden.