Research press release


Nature Ecology & Evolution

Animal behaviour: Human disturbance affects animals’ movements, threatening their survival

人間活動は、環境中の動物の移動の仕方を変化させることを示した論文が、Nature Ecology & Evolution に掲載される。移動の仕方の変化は、動物の生命にとって潜在的なリスクとなり、世界中で絶滅の脅威の一因となる。


今回、Tim Dohertyたちは、6大陸の陸生動物と水生動物167種に関する208件の研究からデータを収集し、人間によるかく乱が世界各地で動物の移動を変化させていることを明らかにした。評価した719事例のうち3分の2以上で、動物の移動に20%以上の変化が見られた。また、動物は、人間によるかく乱への応答として、移動距離を短くするよりも長くすることの方が多く、人間による直接的なかく乱の影響が最も大きいことも明らかになった。


Human activities alter the way that animals move around their environments, according to a paper published in Nature Ecology & Evolution. This poses a potential risk to animals’ lives, and contributes to threats of extinction around the world.

Most human activities can affect animal movement. Our direct presence — through hunting, tourism or recreation — can cause animals to avoid certain areas. More indirectly, roads and cities, logging and agriculture all lead to disturbed habitats, causing animals to travel further or to less-suited locations looking for food, homes or mates. Birds, for example, often have to fly further in response to logging, whereas reptile home ranges shrink in response to urbanization.

Tim Doherty and colleagues compiled data from 208 studies on 167 species of land and water animals across six continents. They found that human disturbance has restructured animal movement across the world. More than two-thirds of the 719 cases assessed showed that animals altered their movement by 20% or more. They also found that animals were more likely to increase than decrease how far they travelled in response to human disturbance, and that direct human disturbance had the greatest impacts.

Finding food and mates is already an all-consuming task for most animals, and many will struggle if they have to move further or if their movement is impaired. This change in movement also has cascading effects, such as changed dispersal of seeds by birds, or the number of rodents killed by carnivores.

doi: 10.1038/s41559-020-01380-1


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