Animals (Feb 2022)

Behavioral Response of Bean Goose (<i>Anser fabalis</i>) to Simulated Ship Noises at Lake

  • Sujuan Wang,
  • Lizhi Zhou,
  • Jinzhou Cai,
  • Bo Jiang,
  • Wenbin Xu

DOI
https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12040465
Journal volume & issue
Vol. 12, no. 465
p. 465

Abstract

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Wild animals are vulnerable to environmental noise. In wetlands, wintering waterbirds are easily disturbed by ship noises; however, the behavioral changes of waterbirds in response to different levels of noise are unclear. We simulated the acoustic environment created by ship movement to investigate the effects of ship noise on foraging, vigilance, and flight behaviors of the wintering bean goose (Anser fabalis). In particular, we used a noise playback method to simulate the acoustic environment created by ship operations at various noise levels (i.e., background noise N ≤ 30) were more sensitive to noise interference. As the noise level increased, the frequency of foraging behavior decreased and the frequencies of vigilance and flight behaviors increased, particularly above 70 dB. For noises >70 dB at short disturbance distances and >80 dB at medium disturbance distances, flight behavior increased significantly. These findings suggested that ships should keep a distance of more than 200 m from waterbirds to reduce noise interference.

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