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Article in Biological Conservation

Subject: Article in Biological Conservation
From: "Holger.Klinck" <>
Date: Mon, 26 Apr 2010 16:17:36 -0700
Hi all,

I want to draw your intention to a recent article in Biological Conservation: Paola Laiolo (2010): "The emerging significance of bioacoustics in animal species conservation", Biol. Conserv., pp. 1-11.

This review reports on the effects of human activities on animal acoustic signals published in the literature from 1970 to 2009. Almost 5% of the studies on variation in animal communication tested or hypothesised on human impacts, and showed that habitat fragmentation, direct human disturbance, introduced diseases, urbanization, hunting, chemical and noise pollution may challenge animal acoustic behaviour. Although acoustic adaptations to anthropogenic habitats have been documented, human impacts have most often generated neutral variation or potential maladaptive responses. Negative impacts have been postulated in the sexual signals of fishes, amphibians, birds, and mammals; these are concerning as any maladaptive alteration of sexual behaviour may have direct bearings on breeding success and ultimately population growth rate. Acoustic communication also facilitates other vital behaviours influenced by human-driven perturbations. Bat and cetacean echolocation, for instance, is disrupted by noise pollution, whereas bird and mammal alarming is also affected by introduced diseases and hunting. Mammal social signals are sensitive to noise pollution and hunting, and birds selecting habitats by means of acoustic cues are especially vulnerable to habitat loss. Anthropogenic intervention in these cases may have a negative impact on individual survival, recruitment and group cohesion, limiting rescue-effects and triggering Allee effects. Published evidence shows that acoustic variation may be used as an early-warning indicator of perturbations even when not directly affecting individual fitness. Acoustic signalling can be studied in a broad range of ecosystems, can be recorded, analyzed, synthesised and played back with relative ease and limited economic budget, and is sensitive to many types of impacts, thus can have great conservation significance.



Holger Klinck, Ph.D.
Cooperative Institute for Marine Resources Studies
Oregon State University&
NOAA Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory
Hatfield Marine Science Center
2030 Marine Science Drive
Newport, OR 97365

Phone: (+1)541-867-0182
Fax:   (+1)541-867-3907

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