A new door to understanding human-wildlife interactions

We have all driven on a beautiful road surrounded by lush forests and singing birds. But not many of us have wondered how the road and human presence were affecting wildlife and the singing birds. Beautiful roads often cross natural habitats that once hosted numerous species. Because of them, wildlife behaviour changed, well, until the pandemic came.

Mireia Villalonga

March 17, 2021

David Attenborough has, in my opinion, a critical and inspiring perception of the world and the relationship humans have with the natural environment that can reach the heart of anyone in the world with universal messages.

“Sometimes we need to take a step back and just remember that we have no greater right to be here than any other animal” David Attenborough

We keep forgetting that not only wildlife has the right to be here, like us, but that they are also part of a greater ecosystem. An ecosystem we depend on. An ecosystem that no technological advance will be able to replicate.

Recently, humanity has been shaken by a new pandemic. Many people have suffered the consequences, but it has also broadened our understanding of wildlife behaviour and human-wildlife interactions.

Scientists that were researching wildlife behaviour before the pandemic also studied wildlife behaviour during and after the different lockdowns that took place across countries. By using electronic tracking devices, scientists tracked wildlife movements through the pandemic stages and now can see the correlation between wildlife behaviour and human behaviour.

With this knowledge, scientists and coexistence practitioners can answer a few questions and understand the nature of human-wildlife interactions. Therefore, scientists are studying whether wildlife movements in modern landscapes are affected by built structures such as houses, roads and bridges or by the human presence in natural habitats.

With this, scientists may discover the minor changes that can be done in our lifestyles and transport networks to improve the wellbeing of wildlife, our ecosystems and ourselves.

To read more about this, visit https://www.nature.com/natecolevol

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