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Study Finds Big Cats and Other Endangered Animals Do Best Where There's No Cell Phone Coverage

A fascinating 2018 study published in the Journal of Biological Conservation draws a strong positive relationship between cell phone coverage and significantly reduced presence of mammals, particularly big cats and endangered animals.


Study findings: "We recorded 18,211 points of presence of mammals, and their probability of being under cellphone coverage was on average very low (18%). Most of the species showed a clear negative relationship with cellphone coverage, and threatened species presented an even lower probability, of at least 4% when compared with non-threatened ones. The strong positive relationship between cellphone coverage and the Human Footprint gradient at a global scale corroborated our a priori hypothesis that cellphone coverage can act as a surrogate for human presence, even in forested areas were no other footprint evidence is easily detectable."


William F. Laurance, distinguished research professor at Australia’s James Cook University, praised the study saying, “It’s just one more line of evidence showing that vulnerable wildlife species need places that are free of human influence. We keep thinking that we can have our cake and eat it too as far as nature is concerned, and that’s just not true. Nature needs part of the planet just to itself.”


Access the study here.



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