Noise needs tougher regulation, finds major study

Environmental noise must be better regulated to protect wildlife, according to a review of research into the effects of noise pollution.

Published today in the Royal Society journal Biology Letters, the study found that the behaviour of more than 100 species, separated widely on the evolutionary tree, is affected by noise.

It found that noise impacts many species of amphibians, arthropods, birds, fish, mammals, molluscs and reptiles, with their genetic distance contributing “only little to the variation in response to noise”.

“Thus, the effects of anthropogenic noise can be explained by the majority of species responding to noise rather than a few species being particularly sensitive to noise,” it concluded. It is therefore of importance to conservation as it can affect a raft of wildlife across many different ecosystems.

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