3.3 Effects on fauna

The effects of noise on animals can be similar to the effects observed in humans. Noise can adversely affect wildlife by interfering with communication, masking the sounds of predators and prey, cause ‘stress’ or avoidance reactions and (in the extreme) resulting in temporary or permanent hearing damage. Experiments have also shown that exposure to noise impulses throughout their sleep periods resulted in poorer task performance (noting that some animals are nocturnal).

Research into the effects of noise on animals is relatively scarce. The results obtained from the studies conducted are frequently contradictory or inconclusive. However, it does appear reasonably clear that animal reactions to noise vary from species to species.

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