Artificial night lighting is one of the least studied outcomes of urbanization. While the effects of night lighting on mammals and their habitats seem obvious, they remain difficult to quantify. By reviewing laboratory and field studies conducted on mammals since 1943, this paper summarizes the most salient effects of artificial night lighting on activity patterns and behavior. These studies assist us in generating hypotheses regarding the effects of lights, erected across the militarized U.S.-Mexico border, on the endangered Ocelot and its nocturnal prey. We predict that activity patterns for Ocelots and their nocturnal prey would be altered under artificial night lighting conditions. Specifically, evening activity levels would either be reduced or redirected towards areas with dense vegetation. In addition, Ocelot foraging success would likely be altered as a result of turning night into day. Recommendations are made for Ocelot recovery and future research on surrogate species.
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Grigione, M.M., Mrykalo, R. Effects of artificial night lighting on endangered ocelots (Leopardus paradalis) and nocturnal prey along the United States-Mexico border: A literature review and hypotheses of potential impacts. Urban Ecosystems 7, 65–77 (2004). https://doi.org/10.1023/B:UECO.0000020173.70355.ab
- artificial lighting
- endangered species
- activity patterns