Moving in the Anthropocene: Global reductions in terrestrial mammalian movements

New publication by Tucker MA; Böhning-Gaese K; Fagan WF; Fryxell JM; Van Moorter B; Alberts SC; Ali AH; Allen AM; Attias N; Avgar T; Bartlam-Brooks H; Bayarbaatar B; Belant JL; Bertassoni A; Beyer D; Bidner L; van Beest FM; Blake S; Blaum N; Bracis C; Brown D; de Bruyn PJN; Cagnacci F; Calabrese JM; Camilo-Alves C; Chamaillé-Jammes S; Chiaradia A; Davidson SC; Dennis T; DeStefano S; Diefenbach D; Douglas-Hamilton I; Fennessy J; Fichtel C; Fiedler W; Fischer C; Fischhoff I; Fleming CH; Ford AT; Fritz SA; Gehr B; Goheen JR; Gurarie E; Hebblewhite M; Heurich M; Hewison AJM; Hof C; Hurme E; Isbell LA; Janssen R; Jeltsch F; Kaczensky P; Kane A; Kappeler PM; Kauffman M; Kays R; Kimuyu D; Koch F; Kranstauber B; LaPoint S; Leimgruber P; Linnell JDC; López-López P; Markham AC; Mattisson J; Medici EP; Mellone U; Merrill E; de Miranda MG; Morato RG; Morellet N; Morrison TA; Díaz-Muñoz SL; Mysterud A; Nandintsetseg D; Nathan R Niamir A; Odden J; O’Hara RB; Oliveira-Santos LGR; Olson KA; Patterson BD; Cunha de Paula R; Pedrotti L; Reineking B; Rimmler M; Rogers TL; Rolandsen CM; Rosenberry CS; Rubenstein DI; Safi K; Saïd S; Sapir N; Sawyer H; Schmidt NM; Selva N; Sergiel A; Shiilegdamba E; Silva JP; Singh N; Solberg EJ; Spiegel O; Strand O; Sundaresan S; Ullmann W; Voigt U; Wall J; Wattles D; Wikelski M; Wilmers CC; Wilson JW; Wittemyer G; Zięba F; Zwijacz-Kozica T; Mueller T

2018.01.30 | Peter Schmidt Mikkelsen

Photo: Carsten Egevang

Abstract:

Animal movement is fundamental for ecosystem functioning and species survival, yet the effects of the anthropogenic footprint on animal movements have not been estimated across species. Using a unique GPS-tracking database of 803 individuals across 57 species, we found that movements of mammals in areas with a comparatively high human footprint were on average one-half to one-third the extent of their movements in areas with a low human footprint. We attribute this reduction to behavioral changes of individual animals and to the exclusion of species with long-range movements from areas with higher human impact. Global loss of vagility alters a key ecological trait of animals that affects not only population persistence but also ecosystem processes such as predator-prey interactions, nutrient cycling, and disease transmission.

Science 26 Jan 2018: Vol. 359, Issue 6374, pp. 466-469. DOI: 10.1126/science.aam9712

Arctic Research Centre