Human Noise Threatens Wildlife In US Protected Areas

Posted: May 5 2017, 8:36am CDT | by , in News | Latest Science News

 
Human Noise Threatens Wildlife in US Protected Areas
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  • Even in Areas of Wilderness Human Noise Disturbs Animals
 

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According to a latest report, even in areas of wilderness in the United States, human noise is disturbing the animals.

Human beings are creating unprecedented levels of noise that are having an adverse effect on the animals in regions which were once known for their relative silence.

Human-related hubbub has increased to twice its original levels in 63% of US protected areas of pristine wilderness and greenery. The reduction in noise levels has not taken place and instead the noise pollution has doubled.

While in the past, this issue was considered a hallmark of urban life, now it seems it is fast encroaching upon wilderness resorts as well. Noise pollution has a devastating influence on animals in the wild.

Often predators cannot hear their prey and vice versa thereby disturbing the eco-webs upon which their environmental niches are based. Also the animals cannot find their mates by calling out to them.

The adverse effects trickle down all the way to plant life. When the pollinators and seed-disseminating animals get disturbed and choose erratic behavioral patterns over their usual pre-programmed instinctual repertoire, the consequences for the plants are ugly indeed.

The overall result is that the ecosystem suffers immensely. Sounds were recorded at many sites across the length and breadth of the United States. A computer algorithm was used to determine a baseline noise level that was common throughout the sites.

The noise levels exceeded 3 decibels in 63% of the protected areas and 10 decibels in protected regions. This is catastrophic in itself. Something must be done to stop this otherwise we are just asking for it as far as the environmental balance is concerned. The noise is very common in the so-called protected areas. These comprise 14% of the land area.

Basically the expansion of human activities and the networks of transportation have really ruined all signs of peace and quiet in the concerned areas.

The constant din of ten thousand activities going on round the clock is taking its toll on animals and plants beside causing everything from high blood pressure to insomnia in human beings. It is clear cut that the noise signals are harmful to all life forms.

Animals normally get scared of the loud noises and often abandon their habitats which leads to their extinction. Greater awareness among human beings can lead them to reduce this noise pollution. They can thus act as stewards for the other species on the planet.

The threat to wilderness in parks from this man-made phenomenon is very real and not just another wishy washy concept. Also the mining for natural resources generates a lot of noise pollution which adversely affects the surrounding fauna and flora.

The findings of this study got published in the journal Science.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
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