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Modifying Mammal Movement

January 30, 2018

How do humans alter mammal movements across the landscape?

Transcript

A herd of elephants. (Pixabay)

A herd of elephants. (Pixabay)

BOB HIRSHON (host):

Holding mammals back. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

It’s no mystery that humans have encroached on animal habitats for millenia. Now, more than 100 scientists have teamed up to measure our impact on mammal movements across the globe.

MARLEE TUCKER (Goethe University):

A lot of previous work has focused on looking at single species or single populations in one location, whereas we’ve got species from different countries and hemispheres and environments.

HIRSHON:

Goethe University ecologist Marlee Tucker says the researchers tracked 803 individual mammals of 57 species. They report in the journal Science that animals living in areas with minimal human activity moved an average of two to three times as far over a 10-day period as their counterparts in areas with high human impact. The study will help scientists understand how people alter food webs, seed dispersal, and predator-prey interactions across ecosystems. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.

Story by Susanne Bard