If the latest COVID lockdown has reminded us of anything, it is our ability to migrate and adapt to changing environments, as backed by ACT government and Google data.
Between August and September so far this year, the environment directorate's data showed a general rise in visitors for a number of parks and reserves currently still opened compared with the same period last year.
Black Mountain had increased nearly twofold from about 9300 to just over 17,000 visitors.
Hall and Little Mulligans had smaller rises of about 2000 and 1700, respectively.
However, for Mt Ainslie, one of the most popular sites in Canberra, it dropped from 41,072 to 35,060.
Griffith man Jackson Day said while he did not visit reserves and trails often, he had noticed more people now compared with pre-lockdown periods.
"The lockdown definitely encourages getting out more and you notice it's busier," Mr Day said.
"My girlfriend and I like to get out, especially in beautiful weather during the warmer months."
The 27-year-old said it was not only the number of people but also those who seemed to not visit reserves often, for example families with cameras, which was akin to seeing people at tourism hot spots.
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Similarly, his partner, Elizabeth Horobin, said "the exercise part of my day is the only sanity I have".
"Take advantage of it, being in the sun greatly improves your mood," Ms Horobin said.
The 24-year-old said she, too, had noticed more people out and about in nature.
Google's COVID community mobility report showed between August 8 and September 19, the highest spike of visitors at parks for any one day was just over 80 per cent earlier this month.
They compared this with their baseline data, a median value calculated during January to February 2020.
ANU Professor of Global Environmental Health Sotiris Vardoulakis said the risk of COVID transmission outdoors was significantly lower than indoors.
"However, we need to bear in mind that the Delta variant is more transmissible and even a brief contact with an infected person outdoors can potentially lead to transmission," he said.
Prof Vardoulakis said putting Check In CBR signage at reserves was a possibility if it was practical for health authorities.
Earlier in September, ACT Policing said they would continue to patrol closed parks and recreation facilities after about 100 people were found to be in breach of public health orders at Cotter Road and Paddy's River Road.
An ACT government spokesperson said the majority of nature reserves were still accessible for Canberrans to do their daily exercise within their local regions.
The spokesperson said if people were visiting reserves and parks as part of their allotted daily exercise, they should take precautions to protect themselves and others.
"Only exercise with your household group or no more than five people, wear a mask, maintain good hand hygiene and keep your distance," the spokesperson said.
The government data supplied started from when it closed nine sites until further notice in line with the current public health directions.
These areas included Namadgi National Park and Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve.
Thirty-nine reserves in the Canberra Nature Park remain open.
The government was asked about a timeline about the potential reopening of closed parks and reserves, but did not provide one.
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