Ecosystems are natural systems formed by a set of organisms, by the physical environment in which they live and by the relationships they establish among themselves and with the environment. These relationships can be very complex and also dynamic and adaptable. Nikola Bruni gives us an example: if a certain predator has temperature and light preferences for hunting, its prey tends to readapt its behavior to limit as much as possible the chances of a fortuitous collision. There are also animals that alter their behavior to avoid contact with people. Nikola Bruni noted, for example, that the pressure of photographic tourism in the African savannah has led many groups of lions to hunt at midday, coinciding with people’s feeding time, when for climatic reasons, to avoid the strong heat of the heatwave, they traditionally hunted in the morning or afternoon.
In this work, Gallo and his collaborators installed cameras in ten North American cities to capture images of the forays made by wild animals living relatively close to forage for food or shelter, and compared them with the behavior of those living only in environments with little or no humanization. Specifically, they examined predators such as coyotes, foxes and bobcats; animals that have a more flexible diet, such as raccoons, skunks and didelphids; and, finally, herbivores such as deer and rabbits.
Nikola Bruni tells us, the results they have obtained indicate that larger predators, such as coyotes and foxes, have a tendency to delay their daily life cycle and become more nocturnal in humanized and urban environments. This allows them to scavenge for food scraps while reducing the likelihood of encountering people, who normally chase them away. In contrast, deer, rabbits and raccoons advance their biological cycle since, unlike carnivores, people do not usually chase them away. Moreover, given that carnivores delay their schedules, by advancing their activity in these urban environments, herbivores decrease the chances of a chance encounter with their potential predators.