Humans aren't the only ones that were affected by the COVID-19 crisis, animals felt it too. But, they had some different reactions.
When the world shut down to prevent the spread of coronavirus, it's like animals were waiting for the opportunity to come out of hiding. Pumas walked the streets in Santiago. Jackals roamed the parks in Tel Aviv, and wolves and boars walked the streets of many American towns.
This change in human behavior has had a profound effect on animals everywhere. Scientists are calling this period in time: the great "anthropause."
“We noticed that people started referring to the lockdown period as the ‘Great Pause,’ but felt that a more precise term would be helpful,” stated the authors of the defining article published in Nature Ecology and Evolution last week.
The scientists behind the establishment of the term "anthropause" view this moment in history as a unique opportunity to study global patterns in animal behavior.
“There is an amazing research opportunity, which has come about through really tragic circumstances,” says lead author Christian Rutz, a biologist at the University of St. Andrews when interviewed by Wired magazine.
"We acknowledge that in the article. But it’s one which we as a scientific community really can’t afford to miss. It’s an opportunity to find more about how humans and wildlife interact on this planet.”
Establishing the concept of "anthropause" has helped researchers identify a number of urgent steps that scientists need to take to effectively focus on sustainability and maintenance of natural habitats in a time where the human impact is choking out the world's ecosystem.