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Responses during the lockdown based on our empirical data (Appendix 5, Table A5) where positive and negative effects represent the observed direction of change for the different response categories. 71 studies which attributed the observed effect to the lockdown with high confidence are included (i.e., a qualitative confidence score of 3 or greater out of a maximum of 5). Frequency histograms (panels a-d) show bars representing data density and a curve representing a smoothed distribution of effect sizes and direction. The dotted line is zero, and the solid colored line is the median. Only responses that were attributed to the lockdown with high confidence are included. a) Human activities and mobility (blue) includes measured responses in human activities and mobility, such as related to commuting and recreational activities (categories are described in Appendix 1, Table A1). b) Biodiversity threats (orange) include categories that harm wildlife and natural systems, such as hunting, fishing, mining, vehicle strikes, wildlife trade, environmental pollution, and deforestation. c) Wildlife responses (green) incorporate observations of animals and plants related to performance (e.g., reproduction, health, foraging) and habitat use (abundance and distribution) and community change (species richness). d) Social systems (purple) include environmental monitoring, restoration, conservation, and enforcement. The chord diagrams highlighted the observed positive and negative effects which were attributed to different lockdown-related drivers as identified by each study (black), and linked to what was measured by each study where responses grouped into the four categories: human activities and mobility, biodiversity threats, wildlife responses, and social systems and structures. One chord represents one measured response.

Responses during the lockdown based on our empirical data (Appendix 5, Table A5) where positive and negative effects represent the observed direction of change for the different response categories. 71 studies which attributed the observed effect to the lockdown with high confidence are included (i.e., a qualitative confidence score of 3 or greater out of a maximum of 5). Frequency histograms (panels a-d) show bars representing data density and a curve representing a smoothed distribution of effect sizes and direction. The dotted line is zero, and the solid colored line is the median. Only responses that were attributed to the lockdown with high confidence are included. a) Human activities and mobility (blue) includes measured responses in human activities and mobility, such as related to commuting and recreational activities (categories are described in Appendix 1, Table A1). b) Biodiversity threats (orange) include categories that harm wildlife and natural systems, such as hunting, fishing, mining, vehicle strikes, wildlife trade, environmental pollution, and deforestation. c) Wildlife responses (green) incorporate observations of animals and plants related to performance (e.g., reproduction, health, foraging) and habitat use (abundance and distribution) and community change (species richness). d) Social systems (purple) include environmental monitoring, restoration, conservation, and enforcement. The chord diagrams highlighted the observed positive and negative effects which were attributed to different lockdown-related drivers as identified by each study (black), and linked to what was measured by each study where responses grouped into the four categories: human activities and mobility, biodiversity threats, wildlife responses, and social systems and structures. One chord represents one measured response.

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The global lockdown to mitigate COVID-19 pandemic health risks has altered human interactions with nature. Here, we report immediate impacts of changes in human activities on wildlife and environmental threats during the early lockdown months of 2020, based on 877 qualitative reports and 332 quantitative assessments from 89 different studies. Hundr...

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Context 1
... positive, likely reflecting reporting biases (Fig. 4). Reports include changes in behavior, reproductive success, health, and reductions in mortality, apparently in response to altered levels of human activity (Fig. 4) Our quantitative assessments suggest a mixed role of human confinement in positively and negatively influencing wildlife (Fig. 5). Some species changed their behavior (e. Table A4, StudyID 28), while other species showed very little changes (Fig. 5 showing distribution of wildlife responses as effect sizes which center on ...
Context 2
... health, and reductions in mortality, apparently in response to altered levels of human activity (Fig. 4) Our quantitative assessments suggest a mixed role of human confinement in positively and negatively influencing wildlife (Fig. 5). Some species changed their behavior (e. Table A4, StudyID 28), while other species showed very little changes (Fig. 5 showing distribution of wildlife responses as effect sizes which center on ...
Context 3
... as discussed above, responses were highly variable. For example, marine traffic increased slightly in some regions (Appendix 4 and 5, Fig. A4 and A5) including shifts of fishing fleets to near-shore coastlines. In some regions, fishing activities intensified rather than declined (e.g., some recreational fisheries and commercial fisheries) (Fig. 5). Other impacts escalated, including massive increases in plastic waste due to discarded personal protective equipment to prevent COVID-19 transmission, and abnormally large crowds of visitors to parks for recreation in countries where outdoor activities were permitted (e.g., a 47% visitation increase in the Swiss National Park, ...
Context 4
... -results that are inconsistent with the prevailing view of humans as primarily harming biodiversity. Indeed, while the qualitative observations presented here provide evidence of interpretation bias, viewing unusual behaviours in wildlife as positive (Fig. 4), our quantitative assessments were balanced between negative and positive responses (Fig. 5). Even if our dataset does not represent a random sampling design, the reports collated are a comprehensive inventory of information across the globe. Emerging from this initial dataset is support for both negative and positive responses of wildlife to human activity and the systems in place to monitor and protect nature. Thus, the ...

Citations

... The use of the anchorages around Cowichan Bay appears to have resumed to normal levels in 2021 when 10 carriers were anchored during August and October. Marine systems have been documented to have been quieter during the global shutdown of shipping activities in 2020 (Bates et al., 2021;Thomson and Barclay, 2020), however, bulk carriers could not come into ports and were restricted to anchoring in coastal waters for extended periods of time. ...
Article
In recent decades shipping traffic has increased, leading to elevated underwater ambient noise levels. Research has been conducted on the noise generated by ships underway, however little is known about potential noise from ships at anchor. In coastal regions, commercial vessels can seek anchorages prior to entering port, leading to concern regarding the impacts on the soundscape and marine ecosystems. Cowichan Bay, British Columbia, a coastal region (800 Ha) 70 km away from the Port of Vancouver, was examined as a case study to understand the possible soundscape contribution from anchored bulk carriers. When a carrier anchored, sound pressure levels (SPL: 20–24,000 Hz) were elevated 2–8 dB re: 1 μPa throughout the bay. These results demonstrate the change anchored carriers can have on underwater soundscapes and is an important step in understanding the potential impact these vessels may have on marine organisms and important ecosystems.
... People increased their use of urban green spaces, with some notable differences between demographics [56]. Many news stories showed wild animals claiming empty urban places [57,58], either because of reduced competition from humans or, such as hungry monkeys being unruly in Lopburi, Thailand [59], because resources regularly provided by humans were withdrawn. These were somewhat reminiscent of reports on how wildlife has proliferated in the city of Chernobyl, Ukraine, following the nuclear disaster and the removal of human presence (e.g., [60]). ...
... COVID-19 has had broad, if mostly indirect, impacts on urban wildlife, which have only been partially documented to date and provide a mixed signal [58]. The ongoing course of the disease, and the ever-evolving policy response to it, will likely determine how long-lasting these effects are. ...
... For all the pain it continues to cause, the pandemic might provide us data to assess what form a wildlife-friendly city of the future might take [61]. Certainly, many of the preliminary studies reviewed here, as well as the overall conclusions of Bates et al. [58] and Soga et al. [133], suggest that reducing some human activities can have beneficial impacts on other species, but that high level of tolerance by traditional urban taxa makes some of those changes less impactful. However, long-term negative impacts, such as the tradeoffs local and national governments may face between promoting economic recovery and environmental regulations necessary for conservation, may persist [55]. ...
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Most ecosystems are increasingly being degraded and reduced by human activities at the local and global scales. In contrast, urban environments are expanding as increasing portions of humanity move into cities. Despite the common perception among biologists that urban areas are biological deserts, cities offer habitat for many non-human species, but their ecology and conservation remain poorly studied. In this review, we first provide an update on the current state of knowledge on urban wildlife, then briefly examine the indirect effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on urban wildlife and add four components not previously included in comprehensive reviews. (1) We show that by reducing human activity, COVID-19 has temporarily enhanced urban habitat quality for some species and diminished it for others. (2) Thoughtful horticulture can contribute to urban wildlife by providing complex habitat structures that benefit biodiversity while enhancing human wellbeing. (3) Recent literature on urban invertebrate biodiversity has grown, though is still focused on pollinators. (4) Finally, employing insights from the discipline of communication can enhance the success of urban biodiversity conservation among both biologists and the public.
... The peak curfew and lockdown began March-April 2020 and, depending on the policies and practices of specific jurisdictions, persisted well into 2021. This epidemic disease prompted changes in human behavior, which had several effects on resource user's livelihoods and affected nature [1]. This has led to anecdotal reports of changes in wildlife behavior or populations rebounding in the absence of human influences. ...
... The interactions between natural habitat losses, contact with wild animals, and global connectivity of humans also suggests a continued and persistent rapid spread of communicable diseases, such as covid [10]. This has caused considerable speculation about these influences on natural populations of animals and particularly fisheries [1,18]. As shown here, the response was not a universal rebounding of fish populations and subsequent improvement of individual catches and incomes. ...
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The responses of small-scale coastal fisheries to pauses in effort and trade are an important test of natural resource management theories with implications for the many challenges of managing common-pool resources. Three Covid-19 curfews provided a natural experiment to evaluate fisheries responses adjacent a marine reserve and in a small-mesh net gear-restricted management system. Daily catch weights in ten fish landings were compared before and after the curfew period to test the catch-only hypothesis that the curfew would reduce effort and increase catch per unit effort, per area yields, and incomes. Interviews with key informants indicated that fisheries effort and trade were disrupted but less so in the gear-restricted rural district than the more urbanized reserve landings. The expected increase in catches and incomes was evident in some sites adjacent the reserve but not the rural gear restricted fisheries. Differences in compliance and effort initiated by the curfew, changes in gear, and various negative environmental conditions are among the explanations for the variable catch responses. Rates of change over longer periods in CPUE were stable among marine reserve adjacent landing sites but declined faster in the gear-restricted fisheries. Two landing sites nearest the southern end of the reserve displayed a daily 45% increase in CPUE, 25-30% increase in CPUA, and a 45-56% increase in incomes. Results suggest that recovering stocks will succeed where authorities can enforce restrictions, near marine reserves, and fisheries lacking additional environmental stresses.
... COVID-19 has prompted global debate within science and conservation communities around wildlife conservation and appropriate scientific responses to the pandemic, resulting in diverse human behavior and policy responses, with mixed impacts on global wildlife conservation (Bates et al., 2021). On the one hand, positive impacts for wildlife have been documented: animals have been seen roaming freely in nature by public more frequently (Koju et al., 2019;Rahman et al., 2021); there have been increases in species richness in temporarily less-disturbed habitats, higher breeding success among birds, increased sightings of urban wildlife (Zellmer et al., 2020), and a fall in road kill incidents involving animals (Manenti et al., 2020). ...
... On the one hand, positive impacts for wildlife have been documented: animals have been seen roaming freely in nature by public more frequently (Koju et al., 2019;Rahman et al., 2021); there have been increases in species richness in temporarily less-disturbed habitats, higher breeding success among birds, increased sightings of urban wildlife (Zellmer et al., 2020), and a fall in road kill incidents involving animals (Manenti et al., 2020). Yet, the pandemic has also seen adverse effects on forestry economics and local livelihoods, increased deforestation rates and animal deaths due to reduced law enforcement (Bates et al., 2021;Manenti et al., 2020), more hunting of wildlife for food (Mendiratta et al., 2021), increased wildlife rescue burdens due to ecotourism bans, and reduced funding for conservation (Rahman et al., 2021;Newsome, 2020;van der Merwe et al., 2021). An increased number of armed conflicts in developing countries has resulted in significant impacts on wildlife and local people (Gaynor et al., 2020;Rondeau et al., 2020), while COVID-19 has also led to a declining numbers of national park visitors, charitable donations to support conservation, and funding for protection areas (Smith et al., 2021;Tarakini et al., 2021;Yung and Abdullah, 2021). ...
Article
This paper uses Vietnam – where overexploitation of wildlife resources is a major threat to biodiversity conservation – as a case study to examine how government officials perceive the impacts of COVID-19 on wildlife farming, as well as the opportunities and challenges presented for sustainable wildlife management. Findings show Vietnamese government officials perceive COVID-19 to have had mixed impacts on wildlife conservation policies and practice. While the pandemic strengthened the legal framework on wildlife conservation, implementation and outcomes have been poor, as existing policies are unclear, contradictory, and poorly enforced. Our paper also shows policymakers in Vietnam are not in favour of banning wildlife trade. As our paper documents the immediate impacts of the pandemic on wildlife farming, more research is necessary to analyse longer-term impacts.
... The decrease of reported soundscapes in 2020 corresponds with the disruptions on field studies derived from confinement measures during the beginning of the COVID pandemic, which has greatly impacted on field research , but also provided opportunities to learn on the impacts of human activity on ocean soundscapes (Rutz et al., 2020). This decline is unfortunate, as previously unimaginable in an ever increasingly loud ocean, with levels rising by 3.3 dB since 1950 (Frisk, 2012), the mass pause in human activity and marine traffic in 2020-2021 gave an unprecedented look into how the ocean would sound without anthropogenic influence (Bates et al., 2021). Soundscape recordings that continued into this period reported an overall reduction in noise, especially in low-frequencies associated with vessel noise (Basan et al., 2021;De Clippele and Risch, 2021;Gabriele et al., 2021;Ryan et al., 2021) with one study showing a reduction in noise from terrestrial traffic influence (Leon-Lopez et al., 2021), owing mainly to the widespread border closures and lock-downs put in place during the pandemic. ...
... Finally, soundscapes are a non-invasive study that would generate a wealth of information on understudied areas and areas difficult to access, to better inform conservation decisions. In this post-COVID era where we have seen the ecological changes brought about in the absence of anthropogenic sound (Rutz et al., 2020;Bates et al., 2021) we have a unique opportunity to use these results to create adequate quiet zones (see International Quiet Ocean project). ...
Article
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A soundscape is the recording of all sounds present in an area, creating a holistic view of the acoustic profile in an ecosystem. Studying acoustic parameters of marine soundscapes as a whole has been shown to give an indication of the health status of the location, as well as correlate to which species may be present and using the area. With the rapid innovation of technology, especially data storage and declining cost of equipment, marine soundscape research is fast increasing, and these previous limitations have been switched for computing capacity for data analysis. Here, we perform a systematic assessment of literature of marine soundscape studies, from 1978, when the first soundscape study was reported, until 2021. We identified 200 primary research studies that recorded soundscapes and captured their geographical location, depth, habitat, duration of the study, and number of sites in each study. Using this data, we summarize the state of play in marine soundscapes studies, and identify knowledge gaps in the spatial coverage, depth profiles, habitat representation and study duration. Spatially, studies are biased towards the northern hemisphere. They are also more prevalent in more easily accessible ecosystems, in order from most to least studied, in coastal (38%), pelagic (20%), tropical coral reef (17%), rocky reef (7%), polar (5.5%), seagrass meadows, oyster reef and kelp/algal forest (<5% each) areas, with zones of cold-water coral the least studied (0.3%). Continuing the trend of accessibility, studies also tended to focus on shallow ecosystems. Most recordings (68%) were conducted in the upper 50 m, with 13% in 50-200 m depths, and only 0.6% at a depth >4000 m. With anthropogenic noise and other pollution sources increasing globally, these gaps in research should be further addressed, especially as they pertain to vulnerable ecosystems, many of which are affected by global climate change and anthropogenic influences. It is crucial that marine soundscape studies continue to be developed and pursued, to establish baselines for healthy ecosystems and/or document recovery following management actions.
... Several carnivore species (including puma) have been found in localities where they have not been previously recorded during 2020 (Vardi et al., 2021). One of the most important variables related to this "urban reclamation" was found to be the reduction in human mobility (Bates, 2021;Vardi et al., 2021). The lockdown of 2020 also allowed a reduction in road kills and an increase in species richness in less-disturbed areas, but also had some negative effects, such as lack of control of alien species and illegal hunting (Manenti et al., 2020;Bates, 2021). ...
... One of the most important variables related to this "urban reclamation" was found to be the reduction in human mobility (Bates, 2021;Vardi et al., 2021). The lockdown of 2020 also allowed a reduction in road kills and an increase in species richness in less-disturbed areas, but also had some negative effects, such as lack of control of alien species and illegal hunting (Manenti et al., 2020;Bates, 2021). We found a rise in the puma events between July and October (austral winter), a pattern that could be related to biological aspects of this species, such as mating season, prey availability, and food search. ...
Article
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The concentration of people living in small areas has increased in the last decade, with more than half of the world's population living in cities. This is particularly true for Latin America, a region with no particular high contribution to the world total population, but hosts several large cities. The increase in urbanization causes several threats to wildlife that face the loss of their habitat and novel environmental pressures. As the number of wildlife entering cities seems to have increased in the last year, we characterize the temporal and geographical events of a widely distributed carnivore, the puma, Puma concolor. We performed an exhaustive search for media news regarding the sighting, capture, and/or killing of pumas within human settlement areas, and tried to relate them with potential explanatory variables. We found a total of 162 events in Latin America in a period of the last 10 years, particularly concentrated in the year 2020. Most records came from Brazil, followed by Argentina, Chile, and Mexico. Of the total, 41% were only sightings, 58% were captures, and a minor percentage were considered as mascotism. Almost the same number of records came from highly populated areas (cities) than from low populated areas (rural) but with important differences between countries. The countries with more records in urban areas (Brazil and Mexico) showed a larger surface occupied by cities. The countries with most records in rural areas (Argentina and Chile) present the opposite pattern of occupied surface. This might indicate that different percentages of areas dedicated to cities or urban spaces might explain the differences among countries. The most important variable related to puma events in the populated areas was sky brightness, while human density and cattle density explained minor parts. The "anthropause" due to the COVID-19 pandemic might explain the larger number of records from 2020, while the absence of high-quality habitats due to fragmentation and high cattle density, might force the pumas to enter populated areas searching for food. Minor values of night lights could be related to a facilitation of efficiency of foraging behavior. Although some bias might exist in the data, the results should be taken into account as general statements for all analyzed countries.
... Anecdotal data suggests that as the economy opens, men will be chosen for re-employment in the informal sector. 4 Secondly, only 54% of women were allowed to go to a neighboring market alone prior to COVID-19, women are restricted in their mobility. COVID-19 has made it more difficult for women to leave the house, limiting their capacity to work, manage enterprises, study, or even get health care and government assistance. ...
Article
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The COVID-19 pandemic is primarily affecting women and girls, who are bearing the brunt of pandemic-related deaths, illnesses, and socio-economic burdens. The pandemic is also harming the health, social and economic well-being of women around the world, but women are leading the response and are making vital contributions to the pandemic response. Women are over-represented among the pandemic’s victims and far more likely than men to be caring for loved ones with pandemic-related illness, or managing the pandemic’s impacts on their families, communities and countries. In response, women are stepping up to lead the health response, and they are making critical contributions to the pandemic response and to the pandemic Keywords: COVID-19, Women health, Well-being, Pandemic, vaccination
... With severe lockdowns limiting manual work and short food circuits, economic inequality is bound to increase in the aftermath of the pandemic. On the other side of the same coin, the drastic changes in our behavior imposed by the Covid 19 crises had major impacts on our environment by significantly decreasing our anthropogenic pressure (Bates et al., 2020;Bates et al., 2021). Thus, our socio-ecological systems have been profoundly modified over the last two years but most of the effects remain poorly quantified particularly in the vast ocean which is still challenging to monitor across space and time. ...
Article
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The Covid-19 pandemic is the latest example in a growing number of health, social, economic, and environmental crises humanity is facing. The multiple consequences of this pandemic crisis required strong responses from governments, including strict lockdowns. Yet, the impact of lockdowns on coastal ecosystems and maritime activities is still challenging to quantify over large spatial scales in comparison to the pre-Covid period. In this study, we used an object detection algorithm on Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) images acquired by the two Sentinel-1 satellites to assess the impact of the Covid-19 crisis on the presence of boats before, during and after lockdown periods in the French Mediterranean Exclusive Economic Zone. During the French most severe lockdown period (March – May 2020), we observed that ship frequentation remained at the same level from March to July 2020, instead of rising towards the summer peak like in previous years. Then, ship frequentation increased rapidly to a normal level in August 2020 when restrictions were lifted. By comparing morning and evening (7:00 am and 7:00 pm) ship frequentation during this period to pre-Covid years, we observed contrasting patterns. On the one hand, morning detections were particularly high, while on the other hand evening detections were significantly lower and less concentrated in coastal touristic waters than in previous years. Overall, we found a 9% decrease in ship frequentation between the year 2020 and the 2017-2019 period, with a maximum of 43% drop in June 2020 due to the lockdown. So, the Covid -19 crisis induced only a very short-term reduction in maritime activities but did not markedly reduce the annual ship frequentation in the French Mediterranean waters. The satellite imagery approach is an alternative method that improves our understanding of the pandemic impacts at an unprecedented spatiotemporal scale and resolution.
... During Covid-19, the pathway experienced a very significant decrease in density ( Figure 2). Based on the analysis of vessels activities and types of gears (including drifting longlines and nets, purse seines and trawlers), ocean fishing is reduced by 12% (Bates et al., 2021). ...
... The forms of disturbances that occur due to sound varies, depending on the type of marine life. The most suitable marine biota to be studied for this theme is animals that use high decibel sounds to communicate, one of which is whales.As humans retreat, animals quickly move in to fill the empty spaces (Bates et al., 2021). Based on a discussion with experts in Indonesia, an interesting rare phenomenon of Orca whales was seen on Anambas Island. ...
Article
This paper presents the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Indonesian seas from April to October 2020. Data were mainly obtained through literature studies focusing on coastal and ecosystem services, noise observation in the ocean, and in-situ data for atmospheric conditions. The results of this study found that the pandemic has given the oceans and ecosystems time to recover from anthropogenic stresses even though the tourism and fisheries sectors have experienced strong economic shocks. A decrease in the amount of pollution in several major cities in Indonesia was also found during the pandemic period.
... Government choices that selectively reopen borders for the resumption of trade flows reinforce the reliance on existing development plans that only weakly integrate sustainability strategies and technologies, resulting in delayed and/or diluted environmental benefits (Sembiring, 2020 Ironically, plans to integrate more vegetation into gentrified urban environments have at least partly arisen in response to societal dissatisfaction with urban spatial inequalities. COVID-19 lockdown measures have highlighted the limited availability of parks for exercise in Southeast Asia's crowded cities (Chandran, 2020), while simultaneously raising awareness of the potential co-benefits of green public spaces for human health and climate adaptation (Bates et al., 2021). Responding to this deficit, some city governments and civil society organisations have converted unused urban areas along railway tracks and roads connecting neighbourhoods into green corridors for public use (Chandran, 2020), including, occasionally, by converting "unused" areas that uproot informal settlers (Elinoff, 2021). ...
Article
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COVID-19 has changed the permeability of borders in transboundary environmental governance regimes. While borders have always been selectively permeable, the pandemic has reconfigured the nature of cross-border flows of people, natural resources, finances and technologies. This has altered the availability of spaces for enacting sustainability initiatives within and between countries. In Southeast Asia, national governments and businesses seeking to expedite economic recovery from the pandemic-induced recession have selectively re-opened borders by accelerating production and revitalizing agro-export growth. Widening regional inequities have also contributed to increased cross-border flows of illicit commodities, such as trafficked wildlife. At the same time, border restrictions under the exigencies of controlling the pandemic have led to a rolling back and scaling down of transboundary environmental agreements, regulations and programs, with important implications for environmental democracy, socio-ecological justice and sustainability. Drawing on evidence from Southeast Asia, the article assesses the policy challenges and opportunities posed by the shifting permeability of borders for organising and operationalising environmental activities at different scales of transboundary governance.