Saturday, 13 March 2010

Survival of the Fittest

Interesting article here discussing the effects of human noise on animal behaviour and how we are disrupting their ability to mate, hunt, forage and avoid predators. The full report is available from the journal Trends in Ecology and Evolution.

The most common effect is known as masking, whereby a human constructed sound such as that of a railway or road impedes an animals ability to hear a mating call or the scuttling of its next meal.

Animals and birds do adapt to a degree though. Studies have found that inner city birds often sing louder or at a different pitch to their country companions in order to be heard over the traffic and commotion.

But not all species have the ability to adapt to the ever changing human environment, and the speed at which things change in the modern world means that even the ones that do are having to evolve at a pace that will surely leave some behind.

Maybe it's just survival of the fittest in the animal kingdom, but it doesn't seem fair that humans get to play such a part in it.

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