COVID-19 lockdown changes urban wildlife behavior in Berlin

A red fox captured on a trail camera in Berlin. Credit: Leibniz-IZW

Trail cameras set up around Germany’s capital have revealed that changing human activity patterns during the COVID-19 pandemic has influenced wildlife behavior. As a result of the lockdown, some species in Berlin, like red foxes (Vulpes vulpes), invasive American raccoons (Procyon lotor) and stone martens (Martes foina), became more nocturnal at the height of the pandemic, presumably as residents used their gardens more during the day. The study published recently in the Journal of Animal Ecology also showed that when domestic cats (Felis catus) were around, there were fewer foxes and martens. But cat presence meant more raccoons that may track the felines to steal cat food.

Read more at Eurasia Review.