Restricted human activity during the COVID-19 pandemic raised global attention to the presence of wildlife in cities. Here, we analyzed iNaturalist observations of prominent wildlife species around North-American urban centers, before and during the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak. We suggest that the popular notion of ‘wildlife reclaiming cities’ may have been exaggerated. We found that while pumas ventured deeper into urban habitats during the COVID-19 pandemic, bears, bobcats, coyotes, and moose did not. Species differential behavioral responses may highlight their evolutionary history cohabiting human habitats. Nevertheless, our results highlight the importance of urban nature for people during the pandemic. Our insights could help manage urban wildlife, better plan greenspaces, and promote positive nature engagements.
- Human-nature interactions
- Urban wildlife
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Nature and Landscape Conservation
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Research Labs / Equipment
Uri Roll (PI)The Swiss Institute for Dryland Environmental and Energy Research