Table_4_Behavior Change in Urban Mammals: A Systematic Review.DOCX (185.67 kB)

Table_4_Behavior Change in Urban Mammals: A Systematic Review.DOCX

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posted on 16.11.2020, 04:14 by Kate Ritzel, Travis Gallo

As cities expand to accommodate a growing human population, their impacts to natural ecosystems and the wildlife residing within them increase. Some animals that persist in urban environments demonstrate behaviors distinct from their non-urban counterparts. These potential behavioral changes are the subject of a growing body of research in the areas of wildlife ecology, biology, and conservation. In spite of increasing urban wildlife research, studies focused specifically on changing behavior in urban mammals is limited. We conducted a systematic literature review to synthesize current research on behavior changes in wild urban mammals. We included 83 papers published between 1987 and March 2020. Omnivores were the leading subject of study, closely followed by carnivores and the specific behaviors most widely studied were home range and vigilance. Among the reviewed studies, there were 166 observations of 44 distinct behaviors with 155 occurrences of behavior change relative to conspecifics in non-urban areas. The most commonly studied and observed type of behavior change was alert behavior. Results indicate urban environments drive adaptive responses in behavior including changes in home range and diet preference, shifts in activity budget and vigilance, decreased flight initiation distance, and increased nocturnal activity. Some urban mammal species even demonstrated the ability to modulate behaviors based on environmental cues. Our results highlight the need for long-term wildlife behavior studies across a variety of urban settings to promote successful urban wildlife management and conservation.