Professor Yale University New Haven, Connecticut, United States
Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic, and widespread changes in human mobility patterns, offered an unprecedented opportunity to disentangle the relative impacts of anthropogenic activity on wildlife behavior. We quantified the influence of human landscape modification and the dynamic presence of humans on wildlife space and resource use for 40 species of birds and mammals across the United States. We found that individuals behaviorally responded to changes in human presence by adjusting the amount of space they used, in many cases driving them to rely on a broader array of resources. We estimated that current human activity in the United States is driving some species to vastly contract the area they are willing to access and others to double the area they need to cover (-88% to 110%). Our work highlights human mobility as a largely underappreciated, yet important driver of wildlife behavioral responses to anthropogenic change.