Nashville residents worry overdevelopment has pushed out native wildlife

As Nashville grows, residents worry about wildlife population
Posted at 9:46 PM, Jul 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-26 06:46:03-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — As new homes and more construction go up around Nashville, the change may be displacing others.

"Where are these animals to go? I mean, first of all they're attracted to the food, the garbage, etcetera and we're taking their living spaces," said Lenore Rosenblatt.

She thinks overdevelopment could be the reason more animals like coyotes and foxes roam her West Nashville neighborhood. "These animals that people are complaining about- well they were here first, they were here first". She worries as the city expands, humans are destroying their habitats.

"There was a neighbor that took down seven oak trees on her property just down the street," said Mackenzie LaRoe, pointing down her neighborhood.

She's taking matters into her own hands. She started a petition calling on stricter tree removal laws. "I want homeowners and residential builders to stop needlessly tearing down these heritage trees," said LaRoe.

While some animals may be pushed out, others are simply adapting, making the best of the growing city.

"You see species like coyotes, fox, raccoon, they are opportunistic," said Chief Development Officer of the Tennessee Wildlife Federation, Kendall McCarter. "So when they see opportunity they're going to come in, look for easy food, look for neat places to hide and it can be right under our noses."

He said during the COVID quarantine their behaviors may have changed too. "They might be more bold, come out more during the day, that kind of thing," he said. "Well we're all back outside, we're moving around again, so we're seeing them and it's kind of an interesting dynamic."

Now as Nashville transitions, McCarter says it won't be uncommon to see more wildlife out and about, and like them, we will have to adapt too. As more predators emerge in our area he encourages others to be mindful of your pets like dogs and cats when letting them outside.