Many people find a sense of freedom when they are in natural surroundings, with peace and quiet facilitating a much-needed connection to nature. These experiences are increasingly being threatened by noise pollution.
Noise Pollution and Its Sources; noise pollution (also called acoustic pollution)—caused by human activities, such as industrial, military, and transportation systems—is harmful and affects more than just the appealing tranquillity of nature. It also has effects on wildlife, disturbing communication, from hearing each other, predators, and prey, all of which could interfere with feeding, reproduction, navigation, and predator avoidance behaviors.
While African studies on the impact of noise pollution on wildlife are near-absent, one study that did investigate the topic found that traffic noise increased dwarf mongooses’ (Helogale parvula, LC) alertness but also reduced responsiveness to alarm calls. Such responses could leave the affected individuals less fit and more vulnerable to
One would think that marine organisms living in the vast oceans may be spared from noise pollution, but this is not the case. Sound carries much further in salt water than air, so noises from ship propellers; military sonar; seismic activities, and construction have significantly increased the level of ambient noise levels marine organisms experience.
This increased level of ambient noise not only disrupts communication in sea animals but can even lead to death (some mass whale strandings have been attributed to noise pollution.
As with light pollution, there is a general need to be more thoughtful about the consequences of sound pollution on the natural world and to put measures in place to mitigate its impacts.