Excessive noise pollution can negatively affect animals which depend on sound to communicate and get info about their environment says a new study. This study which was carried by Jacob Damsky and Megan Gall from Vassar College, New York, was published in The Condor: Ornithological Applications.

Previously studies concentrated on the effect of anthropogenic noise on vocal production. But the current study is focused on the response of animals to warning signals in the presence of noise. They tested the impact of traffic noise on Tufted Titmice and Black-capped Chickadees to titmouse alarm calls, which warn birds of nearby predators.

Feeding platforms were baited with bird seed, and speakers were set up close by. The responses of birds to three different sounds viz., traffic noise alone, alarm calls alone, and a combo of both, were recorded. It was found that traffic noise alone did not affect their feeding. When alarm calls alone were played, birds approached the speakers five times than when it was coupled with traffic sounds.

"Gall and Damsky's experiment helps us understand how human-caused noise can interfere with the transfer of information among animals in social groups," said Rindy Anderson, Florida Atlantic University. 

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