Animals becoming more nocturnal to avoid humans, study shows

Animals becoming more nocturnal to avoid humans, study shows

- in Science
64

Lions and tigers and bears are increasingly becoming night owls because of us, a new study says.

Scientists have long known that human activity disrupts nature. Besides becoming more vigilant and reducing time spent looking for food, many mammals may travel to remote areas or move around less to avoid contact with people.

The latest research found even activities like hiking and camping can scare animals and drive them to become more active at night.

“It suggests that animals might be playing it safe around people,” said Kaitlyn Gaynor, an ecologist at the University of California, Berkeley, who led the study. “We may think that we leave no trace when we’re just hiking in the woods, but our mere presence can have lasting consequences.”

Gaynor and her colleagues analyzed 76 studies involving 62 species on six continents. Animals included lions in Tanzania, otters in Brazil, coyotes in California, wild boars in Poland and tigers in Nepal.




Image: Tiger

A wild tiger is caught walking along the track in Terai belt of the Dudhwa Tiger Reserve in March 2017, Uttar Pradesh, India.