Effects of anthropogenic noise and artificial light on animal communication

Two major outcomes of human development are increased levels of human-generated or anthropogenic noise and widespread artificial light. What effects do these novel environmental conditions have on wildlife? Does anthropogenic noise affect the ability of animals to communicate? Does artificial light at night alter the timing of daily activities?

Exploring soundscapes of nature preserves

The total sound environment or "soundscape" includes all sounds generated by animals, by weather (think wind and rain), and humans (thinks highway or contruction noise). How do natural areas sound? Are they dominated by natural sounds, such as bird song and frog calls? How often does human-generated noise intruder on natural soundscapes?

The meaning of alarm calls

Why do animals give alarm calls when confronting predators? What do they mean? We asked these questions of yellow warblers, which give "seet" calls to brood parasitic brown-headed cowbirds but "chip" call to almost every other intruder that approaches the nest. Does the seet call tell other warblers that a cowbird is nearby?


Can Art and Science be fused to improve science communication? That's the idea behind STEAM.

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