Outdoor World

To avoid humans, more wildlife now work the night shift

( CNN) For their first 100 million years on planet Land, our mammal ancestors relied on the cover of darkness to escape their dinosaur predators and competitors. Simply after the meteor-induced mass extinction of dinosaurs 66 million years ago could these nocturnal mammals explore the many wondrous opportunities available in the light of day.

My colleagues and I have constructed the first effort to measure the global effects of human agitation on the daily activity patterns of wildlife. In our new investigate in the publication Science, we documented a powerful and widespread process by which mammals alter their behavior alongside people: Human agitation is creating a more nocturnal natural world.

Many catastrophic effects of humans on wildlife communities have been well-documented: We are responsible for habitat extermination and overexploitation that have imperiled animal populations around the world. Nonetheless, simply our presence alone can have important behavioral impacts on wildlife, even if these effects aren’t instantly apparent or easy to quantify. Many animals panic humen: We can be big , noisy , novel and dangerous. Animals often go out of their lane to avoid encountering us. But it’s becoming more and more challenging for wildlife to seek out human-free spaces, as the human population grows and our footprint expands across the planet.

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