COVID-19 lockdown allows researchers to quantify the effects of human activity on wildlife

by Christian Rutz, Matthias-Claudio Loretto, Amanda E. Bates, Sarah C. Davidson, Carlos Duarte, Walter Jetz, Mark Johnson, Akiko Kato, Roland Kays, Thomas Mueller, Richard B. Primack, Yan Ropert-Coudert, Marlee A. Tucker, Martin Wikelski, Francesca Cagnacci
Nature Ecology & Evolution Year: 2020

Abstract

Over the past few months, many countries around the world went into lockdown to control the spread of COVID-19. Brought about by the most tragic circumstances, this period of unusually reduced human mobility — which we suggest be coined ‘anthropause’ (see Box 1) — may provide important insights into human–wildlife interactions in the twenty-first century. Anecdotal observations indicate that many animal species are enjoying the newly afforded peace and quiet, while others, surprisingly, seem to have come under increased pressure.

Keywords

Animal Behaviour Animal Migration Animal Physiology Behavioural ecology Conservation biology Ecology Ecosystem ecology Environmental sciences Evolutionary ecology Macroecology Population dynamics Scientific community Urban ecology Zoology