A resting gray wolf (Canis lupus). Photo by Gary Kramer, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Honk if you have seen a bear, wolf, coyote, or bobcat crossing the road in front of you while you’re in the car. You may not have a very high chance of seeing carnivores crossing the road during the day …

Wildlife researchers in Michigan discovered that carnivores like black bears, wolves, coyotes, and bobcats cross roads much less during the day than at night. The presence of roads in the carnivore species’ habitat may be shifting their behavior. Gray wolves and black bears living near roads were more active at night than those with fewer roads in their habitat.

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T.M. Kautz, N.L. Fowler, T.R. Petroelje, D.E. Beyer, N.J. Svoboda, J.L. Belant (2021) Large carnivore response to human road use suggests a landscape of coexistence. Global Ecology and Conservation, 30. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gecco.2021.e01772