Daily Current Affairs Update: 5 FEB 2023

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How human disturbance can alter habitats, routines of animals

A new finding on animal behaviours

  • An animal must be at the right place, at the right time, to avoid predators, find food, and reproduce successfully
  • As an analogy: The interactions between the animals in a given ecosystem are like a theatrical production. For the production to be a success, each actor has to be on stage, in the right place, and they must act and deliver their lines at the right time.


  • As per the new study, human activities might disturb these ecological interactions and increase interspecies encounters.
  • Impact of farms: Wild animals of different species were more likely to come to human-altered landscapes, like farms than in more undisturbed locations, such as national forests.
  • Frequent interaction can lead to intensifying competition for resources or increasing the risk of interspecies disease transmission.
  • Even when the animals do not come face-to-face, simply hearing or smelling a predator can have “dramatic effects” on the behaviours of prey species

What is an ecological niche?

  • In ecology, the term “niche” describes the role an organism plays in a community.
  • Ants may be unable to adapt to global warming, leaving them highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.
  • The insects are cold-blooded creatures, also called ectotherms. Their body temperatures depend on external sources like sunlight. Humans (endotherms), on the other hand, maintain their body temperature without relying on the environment.
  • Ants are often called “ecosystem’s engineers”. These insects move the soil during nest-building and foraging, affecting the level of nutrients in it.