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Anthropause opportunities: Experimental perturbation of road traffic and the potential effects on wildlife

Perkins, Sarah E. ORCID:, Shilling, Fraser and Collinson, Wendy 2022. Anthropause opportunities: Experimental perturbation of road traffic and the potential effects on wildlife. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution 10 , 833129. 10.3389/fevo.2022.833129

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The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic severely reduced many human activities. So pronounced was the change, it has given rise to the term “anthropause”: the considerable alteration of modern human activities. Among these was surface transportation, with prolonged traffic reductions, in excess, of 50% in many countries. Roads and traffic are responsible for functionally fragmenting ecosystems, wildlife populations, and species interactions. The unintentional “dialing-down” of traffic has given continuous monitoring systems of wildlife-vehicle conflict a unique opportunity to study the consequences of perturbing this source of wildlife disturbance and mortality. Experimental manipulation of traffic at the global scale would not have been possible without mitigation responses to SARS-CoV-2. Such a perturbation allows robust empirical investigation into wildlife responses to traffic, including changes in mortality, behavior, genetic connectivity, and knock-on ecosystem effects, the responses to which can be replicated across a global network of wildlife-vehicle conflict monitoring systems. We review the extent to which these extensive data-collection systems provide the primary source of data to study many of these responses, providing the raw material to understand some striking wildlife consequences of the anthropause.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Additional Information: This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
Publisher: Frontiers Media
ISSN: 2296-701X
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 21 April 2022
Date of Acceptance: 16 February 2022
Last Modified: 06 May 2023 17:14

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