For many mammals, avoiding humans has become a way of life. As the Inquisitr recently reported, the world stopped to watch the “MPRRaccoon” scale a building in a possible effort to avoid human occupation of the surrounding area. For days, the little animal scaled the UBS building in Minnesota rather than return to the ground and make a run through the droves of humans there.
Now, it appears science has proven that humans have a much bigger impact on the lives of other mammals than first thought. According to a recent study that was published in Science called “The Influence of Human Disturbance on Wildlife Nocturnality,” evidence is now suggesting that mammals are not only avoiding humans, but changing their daily routine in order to do so.
This new study, “looked at 62 species on six continents, across forests and deserts, from Alaska to Australia,” according to News.com.au. As a result of the data collected, it was discovered that many mammals are becoming more nocturnal in order to avoid human contact. When mammals are located near human habitation, they are 1.36 times more likely to show signs of nocturnal activity over those mammals that live in remote areas away from human contact.
“An animal that would typically split its activity equally between day and night, increased its night time activity to 68 percent of its total activity,” said Ms. Gaynor, a Ph.D. student from the University of California Berkeley.
This is not the first time studies have shown that animals will curb or modify their behavior around humans. According to an article from Science Daily in January of this year, animals are also changing their usual movement patterns.
It is estimated that humans take up 50-70 percent of the Earth’s land surface, a figure that has risen dramatically from the hunter-gather period of time when animals could freely roam the Earth, avoiding humans for a lot of the time.
In this study, led by Marlee Tucker of the Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre in Germany, and also published via Science, it was discovered that for “mammals living in human-modified habitats move two to three times less far than their counterparts in areas untouched by humans.”
So, yes, it seems humans are not only making themselves lazy by not exercising, it is also edging out into the surrounding animal kingdom as well.
This phenomenon is also a global event. So, regardless of where in the world animals and humans reside alongside each other, there will be a decrease in movement by animals.