Since many species, including most mammals, spend nearly all their energy on hunting for food and finding mates, the additional energy required to relocate away from humans is an unwelcome survival challenge, according to a study.
Lead author Tim Doherty from the University of Sydney said, “Animals will often move further in response to disturbance to ensure their survival, for example by seeking shelter, finding food. Some species are able to cope with these changes better than others.”
Of the taxonomic groups studied, birds and insects moved the most on average in order to avoid coming into contact with human activity.
The study warned of “cascading impacts” to natural processes such as pollination if such displacements continued apace.
The authors called for better preservation of natural habitats by increasing protected areas and managing construction and tourism, as well as seasonal curbs on hunting during species’ breeding periods.