As humans stayed home, early research hints at increased animal movement
In late March, as communities began to issue shelter-in-place orders, it seemed animals came out of hiding.
Across the globe, reports began to surface of wildlife taking to the newly deserted streets. Even in Georgia, people reported foxes in shrubbery, yips of coyotes or, in one case at the University of Georgia, deer walking across campus. But were animals relishing in fewer humans around, or were we just noticing them more?
As it happens, data collected for a study on wildlife behavior around metro Atlanta may provide some insight. Wildlife cameras set up by researchers at the University of Georgia’s Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources and biologists from Georgia’s Department of Natural Resources point to a possible uptick in daytime wildlife sightings that may correspond with stay-at-home orders.