Deer. fox, skunks and squirrels are everyday sightings in Lewisboro these days. Even coyote, bobcat, fisher and an occasional bear live here now. It’s hard to imagine, but the majority of our mammals were wiped out not long ago due to hunting and the destruction of habitat as forests were cleared for farming and firewood. The naturalist Henry David Thoreau noted that by 1855 deer, beaver and bear had disappeared from Massachusetts. Believe it or not, deer were seldom seen in Lewisboro in the 1970’s. But as forests regrew and hunting dwindled, mammal populations have slowly recovered. And if we tolerate occasional encounters with larger mammals,the cougar and perhaps even wolves may return to the eastern United States. We are an exception however as worldwide the population of all vertebrate animals has dropped by over 50% since 1970 as habitat continues to be lost worldwide.