Conservation Magazine highlights a fascinating new study:
A loud motor boat can be annoying. If you are a hermit crab, however, the sound could be deadly. Last year, researchers discovered that playing boat noise distracted the crabs, preventing them from paying attention to potential predators. It’s just one example of how human-created sounds can interfere with “biologically important decisions about food selection, mate selection, and predator detection,” a new review of animal “attention” finds.
The paper reviewed a wide range of research studying attention in many animals, and found that human noise can have either pros or cons for conservation; in some instances, we could use noise to disrupt animals causing habitat disruptions. Overall, “we need studies that aim to better understand the population consequences of distraction on wildlife populations,” the authors conclude.