Work by Bart Kempenaers et al. at the Max Planck Institute in Germany has shown that street lights have a big effect on breeding behaviour. Looking at four bird species, egg laying date was earlier in areas with street lights and males who had territories with street lights were more successful in gaining extra-pair mates than their lamp-less neighbours.
Human induced changes have wide-ranging impacts on wildlife, not just through habitat destruction, but through creating habitats that are colonized by animal and plant species. I've blogged previously about how bird songs have changed since species have moved into urban environments. Looking at the behavioural ecology of species that inhabit human made habitats is an area that has only just begun to be explored. It's an area that I find fascinating and am looking forward to reading more about. It opens up a field of research that can straddle three disciplines: behavioural ecology, conservation and urban planning. If we can understand the impact we're having, on displaying, mating patterns, parental provisioning survival and habitat use, then we can plan urban areas to be friendlier to wildlife and do so while gaining a better understanding of the evolutionary process.
Bit of a rambling blog, but I've not written for a while and so felt that I should at least put something up!