Moving in the Anthropocene: Global reductions in terrestrial mammalian movements

Science
By: , and 

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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.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Moving in the Anthropocene: Global reductions in terrestrial mammalian movements
Series title Science
DOI 10.1126/science.aam9712
Volume 359
Issue 6374
Year Published 2018
Language English
Publisher Science
Contributing office(s) Coop Res Unit Leetown
Description 4 p.
First page 466
Last page 469