Study: Traffic Noise affects physiology and reproductive health of birds

The Study published in the Conservation Biology Journal noted that the chicks of birds that were exposed to noise were smaller than the ones in quiet nests. On the whole 88 birds were put under observation. They were split into two group. One half were bred in noisy environment and the other half were bred in no noise environment.

Highlights of the study

  • The research team recorded the level of stress before, after and during the breeding period. Also, the measure of functioning of birds’ immune system, reproductive system and the growth rate of the chicks were monitored.
  • The study revealed that birds in constant traffic had lower levels of corticosterone hormone. This was surprising as stress often resulted in higher level of hormones. According to the researchers, the low level of hormones was mainly due to an adopted natural defence mechanism that ensures that the corticosterone levels do not affect the immune system
  • The chicks that whose parents were exposed to noise were smaller in size than those from parents that were bred in quiet environments.

The entire study suppressed other factors affecting the bird population like air pollution, chemicals, light pollution, etc. The study was conducted on the basis of traffic disturbances alone.




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