Implementation of various restrictions to eradicate viral diseases has globally affected human activity and subsequently nature. But how can the altered routines of human activity (restrictions, lockdowns) affect wildlife behaviour? This study compared the differences between human and wildlife occurrences in the study forest area with acreage of 5430.6 ha in 2018 (African swine fever outbreak, complete entrance ban), 2019 (standard pattern) and 2020 (COVID-19 restrictions) during the breeding season. The number of visitors was lower by 64% in 2018 (non-respecting of the entry ban by forest visitors) compared to standard 2019, while in 2020, the number of visitors increased to 151%. In the COVID-19 period, distinct peaks in the number of visitors were observed between 8–11 AM and 4–7 PM. The peaks of wildlife activity were recorded between 4–7 AM and 9–12 PM. Animals avoided the localities that were visited by humans during the people-influenced time (24 h after people visit), which confirmed the direct negative impact of human activities on wildlife.
Cukor, J., Linda, R., Mahlerová, K., Vacek, Z., Faltusová, M., Marada, P., ... & Hart, V. (2021). Different patterns of human activities in nature during Covid-19 pandemic and African swine fever outbreak confirm direct impact on wildlife disruption. Scientific Reports, 11(1), 1-11.