Boston’s Harbor Island witnesses dramatic increase in animal population, with number of mammals rocketing from 340,000 to 484,000 over the course of a decade.
It seems that we at Private Islands News are not the only ones to have been bitten by the island bug – researchers in America have noted a dramatic increase in furry four-legged animals making their way to the shores of Boston’s scenic Harbor Islands – by all means necessary.
An ongoing survey of the picturesque island group has recorded a “dramatic shift in mammal populations,” with coyotes, foxes, deer and other mammals thriving amongst the diverse island landscape. Some were brought across by humans, some swim and others scurry across temporary land bridges during the low tide or when parts of the harbor freeze over during the winter.
The survey of is the first of its kind amongst within the Harbor Islands region, and has generated startling results according to project manager, Professor Lauren Nolfo-Clements. As well as discovering communities of rate foxes and deer, researchers have noted a number of “aberrantly large” mammals, including mice and voles that weigh twice as much as their mainland equivalents.
The abnormally large mice and meadow voles found by the Harbor Islands research team are simply a product of what Nolfo-Clements refers to as “island-syndrome.” With a lack of natural predators and food readily available via the islands’ human population, a size increase amongst small mammals within an isolated community is all but inevitable, according to the Suffolk University biology professor.
Whilst already very much in the opening phase, it is hoped that the information will assist the islands’ administrators in their plans for the future. The survey is still very much in the opening phase, however, with plans in place to monitor the situation yearly for at least the next ten years.