Mammals going nocturnal to avoid humansJune 14, 2018
Human activity is causing the planet's mammals to flee daylight for the protection of night, according to a new study from the University of California, Berkeley.
The study, published today in the journal Science, and supported in part by the National Science Foundation, represents the first effort to quantify the global effects of human activity on the daily activity patterns of wildlife. Its results highlight the powerful and widespread process by which animals alter their behavior alongside people: human disturbance is creating a more nocturnal natural world.
"Catastrophic losses in wildlife populations and habitats as a result of human activity are well documented, but the subtler ways in which we affect animal behavior are more difficult to detect and quantify," said Berkeley PhD candidate and study lead author Kaitlyn Gaynor.
Gaynor, along with co-authors Justin Brashares and Cheryl Hojnowski of UC Berkeley, and Neil Carter of Boise State University, applied a meta-analysis approach, using data for 62 species across six continents to look for global shifts in the timing of daily activity of mammals in response to humans. These data were collected by various approaches, including remotely triggered cameras, GPS and radio collars, and direct observation. For each species in each study site, the authors quantified the difference in animal nocturnality under low and high human disturbance.
On average, mammals were 1.36 times more nocturnal in response to human disturbance. This means that an animal that naturally split its activity evenly between the day and night increased its nighttime activity to 68% around people. This finding was consistent across carnivore and herbivore species of all body sizes greater than 1 kg (small mammals were not included in the study). The pattern also held across different types of human disturbance, including activities such as hunting, hiking, mountain biking, and infrastructure such as roads, residential settlement, and agriculture.
"While we expected to find a trend towards increased wildlife nocturnality around people, we were surprised by the consistency of the results around the world," said Gaynor. "Animals responded strongly to all types of human disturbance, regardless of whether people actually posed a direct threat, suggesting that our presence alone is enough to disrupt their natural patterns of behavior."
According to Brashares, a professor in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management and the study's senior author, the consequences of the behavioral shift in wildlife can be seen through contrasting lenses.
"On the positive side, the fact that wildlife is adapting to avoid humans temporally could be viewed as a path for coexistence of humans and wild animals on an increasingly crowded planet," said Brashares. "However, animal activity patterns reflect millions of years of adaptation--it's hard to believe we can simply squeeze nature into the dark half of each day and expect it to function and thrive."
The authors describe a range of potential negative consequences of the shifts they report in wildlife, including mismatches between the environment and an animal's traits, disruption of normal foraging behavior, increased vulnerability to non-human predators, and heightened competition.
They point out, however, that while many of the studies included in their analysis documented a clear increase in nocturnal activity, few examined the consequences for individual animals, populations, or ecosystems.
"We hope our findings will open up new avenues for wildlife research in human-dominated landscapes. We still have a lot to learn about the implications of altered activity patterns for the management of wildlife populations, interactions between species, and even human-induced evolution," said Gaynor.
University of California - Berkeley
Related Behavior Articles:
'Religious Devotion and Extrinsic Religiosity Affect In-group Altruism and Out-group Hostility Oppositely in Rural Jamaica,' suggests that a sincere belief in God -- religious devotion -- is unrelated to feelings of prejudice.
Researchers at the University of Zurich have identified the brain mechanism that governs decisions between honesty and self-interest.
The scientists analyzed an extensive data set of brain region connectivity from the NIH-funded Human Connectome Project (HCP) which is mapping neural connections in the brain and makes its data publicly available.
A study shows that contests of butterflies occur only as erroneous courtships between sexually active males that are unable to distinguish the sex of the other butterflies.
In a study published online by JAMA Ophthalmology, Paul D.
Curiosity could be an effective tool to entice people into making smarter and sometimes healthier decisions, according to research presented at the annual convention of the American Psychological Association.
Anyone who's gone camping has seen birds foraging for picnic crumbs, and according to new research in The Condor: Ornithological Applications, the availability of food in campgrounds significantly alters jays' behavior and may even change how they interact with other bird species.
A team of investigators from Brigham and Women's Hospital and the University of Massachusetts have developed a suite of computer algorithms that can accurately predict the behavior of the microbiome -- the vast collection of microbes living on and inside the human body.
Why do we sometimes decide to take risks and other times choose to play it safe?
A new study suggests that the specific alignment of neural networks in the brain dictates whether a person's altruism was motivated by selfish or altruistic behavior.
Related Behavior Reading:
Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst
by Robert M. Sapolsky (Author)
The New York Times bestseller
“It’s no exaggeration to say that Behave is one of the best nonfiction books I’ve ever read.” —David P. Barash, The Wall Street Journal
"It has my vote for science book of the year.” —Parul Sehgal, The New York Times
"Hands-down one of the best books I’ve read in years. I loved it." —Dina Temple-Raston, The Washington Post
Named a Best Book of the Year by The Washington Post and The Wall... View Details
Behavior: The Forgotten Curriculum -- An RTI Approach for Nurturing Essential Life Skills (Transform Your Differentiated Instruction, Assessment, and Behavior-Management Strategies)
by Chris Weber (Author)
To fully prepare students for college, careers, and life, it is essential for educators to nurture students' behavioral skills along with their academic skills. With Behavior: The Forgotten Curriculum, you will learn how to employ the most effective behavioral and social skills activities for your particular class and form unique relationships with each and every learner. Through this personalized classroom behavior-management approach, you can anticipate potential problem areas and confidently respond to students in need of intensive and differentiated supports.
Use... View Details
The Behavior Code: A Practical Guide to Understanding and Teaching the Most Challenging Students
by Jessica Minahan (Author), Nancy Rappaport MD (Author)
Based on a collaboration dating back nearly a decade, the authors—a behavioral analyst and a child psychiatrist—reveal their systematic approach for deciphering causes and patterns of difficult behaviors and how to match them with proven strategies for getting students back on track to learn.
The Behavior Code includes user-friendly worksheets and other helpful resources. View Details
The Survival Guide for Kids with Behavior Challenges: How to Make Good Choices and Stay Out of Trouble
by Thomas McIntyre Ph.D. (Author)
Many kids and teens have challenges when it comes to behavior. In this revised edition of his time-tested book, Thomas McIntyre provides up-to-date information, practical strategies, and sound advice to help kids learn to make smarter choices, make and keep friends, get along with teachers, take responsibility for their actions, work toward positive change, and enjoy the results of their better behavior. New to this edition are an “Are you ready to change?” quiz, updated glossary and resources, and a fresh organization and design. This is a book for any young person who needs help with... View Details
Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior
by Leonard Mlodinow (Author)
From the bestselling author of The Drunkard’s Walk and coauthor of The Grand Design (with Stephen Hawking), a startling and eye-opening examination of how the unconscious mind shapes our experience of the world.
Winner of the 2013 PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award
Over the past two decades of neurological research, it has become increasingly clear that the way we experience the world--our perception, behavior, memory, and social judgment--is largely driven by the mind's subliminal processes and not by the conscious ones, as we... View Details
How to Reach and Teach Children with Challenging Behavior (K-8): Practical, Ready-to-Use Interventions That Work
by Kaye Otten (Author), Jodie Tuttle (Author)
Interventions for students who exhibit challenging behavior
Written by behavior specialists Kaye Otten and Jodie Tuttle--who together have 40 years of experience working with students with challenging behavior in classroom settings--this book offers educators a practical approach to managing problem behavior in schools. It is filled with down-to-earth advice, ready-to-use forms, troubleshooting tips, recommended resources, and teacher-tested strategies. Using this book, teachers are better able to intervene proactively, efficiently, and effectively with students exhibiting behavior... View Details
The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook: Practical DBT Exercises for Learning Mindfulness, Interpersonal Effectiveness, Emotion Regulation & ... Tolerance (New Harbinger Self-Help Workbook)
by Matthew McKay (Author), Jeffrey C. Wood (Author), Jeffrey Brantley (Author)
A Clear and Effective Approach to Learning DBT Skills
First developed for treating borderline personality disorder, dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) has proven effective as treatment for a range of other mental health problems, especially for those characterized by overwhelming emotions. Research shows that DBT can improve your ability to handle distress without losing control and acting destructively. In order to make use of these techniques, you need to build skills in four key areas-distress tolerance, mindfulness, emotion regulation, and interpersonal... View Details
The Good News About Bad Behavior: Why Kids Are Less Disciplined Than Ever—And What to Do About It
by Katherine Reynolds Lewis (Author)
The current model of parental discipline is as outdated as a rotary phone.
Why don't our kids do what we want them to do? Parents often take the blame for misbehavior, but this obscures a broader trend: in our modern, highly connected age, children have less self-control than ever. About half of the current generation of children will develop a mood or behavioral disorder or a substance addiction by age eighteen. Contemporary kids need to learn independence and responsibility, yet our old ideas of punishments and rewards are preventing this from happening.
To stem this growing... View Details
Flight Behavior: A Novel
by Barbara Kingsolver (Author)
"Kingsolver is a gifted magician of words."
The extraordinary New York Times bestselling author of The Lacuna (winner of the Orange Prize), The Poisonwood Bible (nominated for the Pulitzer Prize), and Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, Barbara Kingsolver returns with a truly stunning and unforgettable work. Flight Behavior is a brilliant and suspenseful novel set in present day Appalachia; a breathtaking parable of catastrophe and denial that explores how the complexities we inevitably encounter in life lead us to believe in... View Details
Behavior Solutions for the Inclusive Classroom: A Handy Reference Guide that Explains Behaviors Associated with Autism, Asperger's, ADHD, Sensory Processing Disorder, and other Special Needs
by Beth Aune (Author), Beth Burt (Author), Peter Gennaro (Author)
WHY won't he stay in his seat?
WHY does she flap her hands?
And WHAT should I do?
As inclusion becomes the norm in general education, teachers are faced with behaviors they have never seen before. Special needs educators may recognize the telltale symptom of a sensory need or a textbook case of an avoidance behavior, but this is all new territory for the General-Ed crowd!
Written by Director of Special Education Peter Gennaro, occupational therapist Beth Aune, and special needs mom and advocate Beth Burt, this book illuminates possible causes of those mysterious behaviors,... View Details