There has been a research saying that human activities have led many mammals to become comparatively more active during night. Many mammals are preferring to become nocturnal due to fright of people, so as to avoid running into a human or humans. The consistency in this changed behavior has been now seen everywhere, from African Savannas to European forests which is quite a shock. 76 studies were conducted on 62 species of mammals across 6 continents, which included motion sensing cameras, satellite data and human observations.
The original day to night ratio which was 50:50 has been shifted towards night time, which drastically made animals 1.36 times more nocturnal due to human disturbances. Now the ratio splits 32 to 68, day to night. This was mostly due to inhumane human activities of hunting. Other factors like deforestation, hiking, farming and urban development are also responsible for this change in animal behavior. Katelyn Gaynor, a wildlife ecologist PhD Candidate, says that animals are trying to play safe, given the loud and unpredictable nature of humans. Some species like coyotes are taking advantages of these situations as they mostly hunt at night, and see the day dwellers, like squirrels, coming out at night as an easy prey. Even if one portion of the food chain is at advantage, it is throwing the ecosystem out of balance. Day dwellers converted nocturnal species are also finding it hard to raise their young ones during the night.
Some animals, being adaptable and having good survival instincts, might find being nocturnal advantageous, but this surely will disturb the balance of ecosystem. But it is important that the wild animals and humans should learn to share their habitat as growing population, developing cities and increasing urbanization might stand in the way if either of them don’t adapt.