Around 14% of the United States soil constitutes a sanctuary for local fauna and flora. These are areas that received federal protection. However, even though their goal is to offer wildlife a respite from human society, noise pollution is incrementally becoming an influential presence in these places.
There Was Never Done Before a Report on Noise Pollution within Protected Areas
Researchers at the U.S. National Park Service and Colorado State University have just finished a one of a kind study. Their work studied the implications of noise pollution in protected areas of the United States. This is how they discovered that this harmful agent doubled its sound levels in 63% of the territories in question. On top of that, another portion of 21% of protected regions had their sound levels increased ten times than usual.
Usually, people overlook the seriousness of the negative impact of disturbing noise. The report found that the primary sources of loud sounds in wild areas are a result of human activities as well as a transportation network. Rachel Buxton was the lead author of the study and a researcher at Warner College of Natural Resources. She stated that her colleagues were surprised to discover the reality of noise pollution.
“The noise levels we found […] can be harmful to human health, and to wildlife.”
The Current Situation Impairs Human and Animal Lifestyle
Buxton is of the opinion that natural acoustic aspects can decide the difference between a protected area and human community. High levels of noise can disturb nature’s lifestyle such as conversation and sleeping patterns. The team had to study millions of hours of sound records across 492 sites to collect data for their work. The final results are assessments of current noise level, natural sound levels, and human-caused or anthropogenic noise levels. As such, noise pollution represents the difference between natural and human-induced sounds.
Report’s main results indicate that in 63% of protected areas, natural sounds can be distinguished in a proportion of 50% to 90% because of noise levels. In other words, the sound that a person can distinguish in 100 feet away under normal circumstances can be heard only from 10 or 50 feet. For humans, this situation impairs their connection with nature which usually results in stress reduction. For animals, this situation can induce fear and even change the composition of their species.
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