Constant noise pollution can induce chronic stress in birds with stunted growth
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Constant noise pollution can induce chronic stress in birds with stunted growth

Noise pollution is as hazardous as any other form of pollution which is evident from the latest research that suggests that birds could suffer from chronic stress when exposed to constant loud noise for a prolonged period. The loud noises from factories, vehicles, and other human activities pose a significant threat to the health of fully grown adults as well as the newly born chicks.

The findings of the study conducted by researchers from the University of Colorado Boulder was published in the paper PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences). During the study of the birds’ behavioral pattern when exposed to loud noise, the researchers observed that the species Western Bluebirds laid a fewer number of eggs that hatched or reached full maturity during the growth cycle. This particular species has been speculated to show the maximum amount of tolerance to noise pollution. However, upon close observation, it was established that these particular species were affected the most by noise.

The team of experts that studied the behavior came to the conclusion that apart from air, water, and land pollution, the wildlife is facing a major threat from noise pollution as well. Noise pollution is a solely human generated factor which holds a great impact on nature, especially to the animals and birds.

Further analysis was used to determine the affect of noise pollution of people especially the noise emitted from the industries. Three species of birds that usually lay eggs around industries were chosen for the study which included mountain and western bluebirds along with ash-throated flycatchers.

The study was conducted for three consecutive breeding seasons during which the researchers obtained blood samples belonging to the female gender of the species along with some of their offspring as well.

Upon close observation, it was estimated that the birds living close to industrial areas with elevated levels of noise pollution show a reduced baseline level for corticosterone hormone. This observation was derived by closely monitoring the body size of the chick, the length of its feather along with the percentage success in hatching out of the egg. Many of these hatched chicks also reflected a stunted growth pattern.

Researchers explained that the birds have adapted to the loud noise in the city which bars the activation of fight or flight stimuli of the body as compared to their counterparts living in parts unaffected by noise pollution.

A reduced level of corticosterone is responsible for inflammation as well as a reduced amount of weight gain. This same theory is applicable to humans as well as animals which mean constant exposure to loud noise is responsible for less than average growth with high-stress level. More than often noise pollution is ignored in comparison to other major categories of pollution but an extended exposure to noise pollution can cause numerous health-related ailments.