Animals change their behavior to avoid contact with humans
Humans are increasingly encroaching on the natural habitats of wild animals, and these animals have discovered that the best way to survive is to change their activity from day to night, mainly to avoid contact with humans.
According to a new study from the University of California, Berkeley, human activity is causing mammals across the planet to shift to a nocturnal lifestyle. All to avoid contact with humans. The research on the subject was published in the journal „Science”.
The study is proba determine the global impact of human activity on the daily activity patterns of wild animals. His results show a widespread process by whichorym animals that share the environment with humans are changing their behavior: they are more active at night, when they are exposed to me.
The consequences of this change are still unclear, but scientists suspect that it may threaten the survival of several species ofoin animals. The change in the season of greater activity brings new risks.
– Catastrophic losses to wildlife populations and their habitats as a result of human activity are well documented, but the more subtle ways in which animal behavior is affected are more difficult to detect and quantify – said study leader Kaitlyn Gaynor.
The researchers used data on 62 species during the studyoin six continents to find shifts in the timing of the mammal’s daily activityoin response to humans. These data were collected ros by different methods: m.in. using motion-activated cameras or transmittersoIn GPS. The scientists also analyzed 76 studies already published on the behavior of specific speciesow.
Porown was the nocturnal activity of each species during periods or regions with high levels of human activity, such as hunting season or an urbanized area. The findings show that most mammalianow becomes 20 percent on average. more active at night in response to higher levels of human activity.
Animals such as coyotes (Canis latrans), whichore usually share their activity roevenly between day and night, in tourist areas near gor Santa Cruz, California, have changed their patterns and now account for nearly 70 percent, their activity at night. But someore cases are more extreme and involve speciesoin whichore each of us knows: deer, wild boaroin whether a foxow.
The research shows that animals living near humans, ktore naturally shared their activity roevenly between day and night, in 68 percent of the. casesow increased activity at night. This applies to zarowno predatorow, as well as herbivores.
The pattern involved roroThe kind ofoin human activity, including activities such as hunting, hiking, cycling gorskies or infrastructure (roads, housing developments and agriculture). – Animals reacted strongly to all types of human activity, regardless of whether humans actually posed an immediate threat. This suggests that our presence is enough to disturbocut their natural behavior patterns – assessed Gaynor.
– The fact that wild animals are adapting to temporarily avoid humans can be seen as a way to coohuman-wildlife interactions on an increasingly crowded planet, said Justin Brashares, a cooroutor of research. – However, animal activity patterns reflect millions of years of adaptation – it’s hard to believe that we can just squeeze nature into the dark half every day and expect it to function and thrive – added.
The researchers describe a range of potential effectsow such changes in animal behavior. In doing so, they mention the interferenceoprice of normal foraging, increased susceptibility to predation, increased competition or a mismatch between environment and animal traits. They point out, however, that while many of the studies included in their analysis document a marked increase in nocturnal activity, few have examined the consequences for individualolnych animals, populations or ecosystemsow.
– We hope our findings will open up new opportunities for wildlife research in human-dominated landscapes. We still have much to learn about the consequences of altered patterns ofoin activity for managing wildlife populations, species interactions, and even human-induced evolution – explained Gaynor.
Sourceobackground: Science, Nature, photo. 0x010C/ CC BY-SA 4.0/ Wikimedia Commons