MIAMI, NETRALNEWS.COM – Noise pollution caused by humans have polluted more than half of the nature reserve area in the United States, and pollution may impair the ability of animals to hunt and survive, researchers said.
Noise was heard on 492 sites designated as a biodiversity site across the country, as reported by a report in the Journal of Science.
Researchers found that the noise exceeded three decibels (dB) in 63 percent of the protected areas.
In 21 percent of the area, noise pollution is recorded 10 decibels higher than it should be without human influence.
"That means there is an increase between twice to 10 times the sound level above nature," said lead author Rachel Buxton, a conservation biologist at Colorado State University, as quoted from Antara.
Buxton said that the sounds generated human activities reduce the area where the original sound can be heard between 50 to 90 percent.
"So if you can hear something at a distance of 30 meters, now you can only hear it from a distance of three to 15 meters," he said.
Computer algorithms are used to estimate the source for the original sound in an area, based on its unique features.
Additional sound sources include oil and gas exploration, friction for lead natural gas and a number of mining activities as well as motorbike and vehicle traffic noise.
The impact of these additional sounds can be immense.
"Birds will find it difficult to find a partner, or prey species may not be able to hear predators that are approaching and will be more quickly be preyed upon," said Buxton.
"Even if only one species is actually affected by noise directly, this impact can spread into the ecological community."
The researchers said the study showed that human-triggered noise pollution, although often regarded as an urban problem, could reach a further range than previously understood.