As a new study about noisy environments emerges, we learn that noise pollution affects not only animal behaviour but also plants.
As we proliferate, we have invaded the wildlife deeper, developing a huge increase in environmental sound with our industry, traffic, and, of course, gadgets. Nature is now threatened, and the future is currently unknown.
Here is what you need to know.
Noisy Environments and Disturbed Habitats
A team of researchers investigated the Rattlesnake Canyon habitat to figure out the long-term ecological effects of persistent noise.
This region is full of woodland plants containing a high density of natural gas wells coupled with compressors that work continuously, reaching over 100 decibels. You can imagine how loud that is!
The new study comes with some intriguing yet shocking findings.
Noise pollution might trigger wildlife extinction
According to the new paper, pinyon seedlings and the saplings couldn’t be found almost at all in noisy areas. A similar pattern resurfaced when observing juniper plants.
However, that’s not the whole scenario here. When examining plots previously noisy, researchers found more juniper activity than pinyon. What does this mean?
The team discussed Woodhouse’s scrub-jay behaviour and how noise pollution affects it.
“[…] jays are smart birds, they have episodic memory, and they can remember negative experiences; […] if they did explore an area a couple of years ago and if it’s noisy, [they won’t] not go back to that area,” Dr Jenny Phillips, the lead author of the study.
Unfortunately, researchers can’t now tell how harmful the impacts of noise pollution are, but more work in the field should soon offer more information.
One thing is sure; noise pollution has clearly a negative impact on wildlife habitats and other environments. It can disorientate animals, especially birds, and change the way they behave in nature.
We should raise noise pollution awareness globally and support researchers’ work worldwide.