Colors FOR Nature (01-21-20)

Fondren, Swierk, and Putman investigated links between the colors we wear and how animals who see those colors behave;  expanding the Fondren lead team’s findings to colors used among animals generally seems plausible.  The research trio “tested whether human clothing color affects water anole [lizards] (Anolis aquaticus) behavior at a popular ecotourism destination in Costa Rica. . . .We examined whether clothing resembling the primary signaling color (orange) of water anoles increases number of anole sightings and ease of capture. Research teams . . .  search[ed] for anoles wearing one of three shirt treatments: orange, green, or blue. . . . Wearing orange clothing resulted in more sightings and greater capture rates compared with blue or green. A higher proportion of males were captured when wearing orange whereas sex ratios of captured anoles were more equally proportional in the surveys when observers wore green or blue. . . . colors ‘displayed’ by perceived predators (i.e., humans) alter antipredator behaviors in water anoles. Clothing choice could have unintended impacts on wildlife, and wearing colors resembling the sexually selected signaling color might enhance tolerance toward humans.”

Andrea Fondren, Lindsey Swierk, and Breanna Putman.  “Clothing Color Mediates Lizard Responses to Humans in a Tropical Forest.”  Biotropica, in press, https://doi.org/10.1111/btp.12744