A new study published in Biology Letters says that over 100 animal species are threatened due to noise pollution. The noise masks acoustics that animals use to hunt, mate, and stay safe from predators. The noise is called anthropogenic noise, meaning made by humans.
Species including reptiles, mollusks, fish, mammals, birds, amphibians and anthropoids are all affected by noise pollution. Fish cannot communicate over the noise from shipping industry. Poor communication leads to less than ideal reef choices, which affects their lifespan.
Hansjoerg Kunc, co-author of the research gave an example of noise pollution affects to the Guardian, “For example in bats, they try to locate their prey via acoustic cues. If you have the noise in the background they can’t really hear that, so they have to fly longer and invest more time and energy to find their food.”
Noise pollution also damages animals’ migration patterns. Birds avoid noisy areas which affects long-term habitat plans.
Kunc said of the findings, “This large-scale quantitative study provides significant evidence that noise pollution must be considered as a serious form of man-made environmental change and pollution, illustrating how it affects so many aquatic and terrestrial species. Noise must be considered as a global pollutant and we need to develop strategies to protect animals from noise for their livelihoods.”
A benefit of noise pollution over environmental pollution is that once the noise is gone there are no after effects. Once the world is quieter, animals will be safer.
Read more about animal protection in One Green Planet, including The Myth of Domestication: Why Exotic Animals Can Never Really be ‘Pets’ and If These 8 Species Go Extinct, Entire Ecosystems Will Disappear.
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