Bearing with noise: The effects of highway noise on behaviour and development in zebra finches
Anthropogenic noise negatively affects wildlife in a wide range of taxonomic groups.
- Liu, Q.
- 02 June 2021
- Thesis in Leiden Repository
Anthropogenic noise negatively affects wildlife in a wide range of taxonomic groups. Especially for birds, a substantial number of observational studies have now shown negative associations between noise pollution and abundance and diversity along roadsides. Researchers investigating birds’ behavioural responses to high level noise to date have mostly focused on the immediate adjustment of vocal signalling behaviour. However, there is more than one mechanism by which birds might cope with increasing noise levels. They may show immediate behavioural reactions, such as spatial avoidance and/or vocal adjustment, but also more ontogenetic adjustments with long-term consequences like changes in sensory and personality traits. To test these potential effects of traffic noise on birds, I conducted a series of experiments using zebra finches. I have demonstrated that traffic noise per se can contribute to spatial avoidance in birds and cause variation in parental behaviour, and that there can be changes in noise avoidance behaviour in the course of a lifetime. These results provide new insights into the potential impacts of noise on birds.