Birds May Now Suffer From PTSD Thanks To Our Noise Pollution

Khryss | Published 2018-01-23 04:06

It is just so, so stressful!

Oil and gas operations must have been really proud of being one of the major contributors of noise pollution. And guess what? They've move to another feat: causing birds to develop the same symptoms as humans that suffer from PTSD.

A new study tested three species of birds (western bluebirds, mountain bluebirds and ash-throated flycatchers) for levels of the stress hormone corticosterone. And you wouldn't like what they found.

Those adult birds who are living in noisy environments had higher hormone levels while fledglings raised in noisy nests were smaller, have fewer feathers and are less likely to survive.

According to researchers, this constant noise acts as an 'audio buffer'. That is, this decreases birds' detecting ability that saves them from potential predators. This result to birds' chronic stress, increased anxiety, distraction and hypervigilance.

Associate curator of biodiversity informatics at the Florida Museum of Natural History and study's author Rob Guralnick said: "These birds can't escape this noise.  It's persistent, and it completely screws up their ability to get cues from the environment. They're perpetually stressed because they can't figure out what's going on."

"Just as constant stress tends to degrade many aspects of a person's health, this ultimately has a whole cascade of effects on their physiological health and fitness," he added.

So sad the birds had to go through this because of humanity's own doings.

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