Living in the city, it’s easy to forget that there are animals and people who rely on natural environments for their livelihoods. But noise pollution is an issue that affects all of us, no matter where we live. One study found that even subtle noise pollution can have a profound effect on wildlife populations, which can lead to habitat loss or endangerment.
Aside from animals and wildlife, noise pollution has a great impact on rural communities. Unlike urban landscapes, rural neighbourhoods thrive in a peaceful and relaxing environment. Being exposed to noise pollution adversely affects not just daily activities, but also in the way these communities function as a whole.
Among the effects of noise pollution in wildlife are:
1. Animals become disoriented.
Noise pollution is often seen as a problem that only affects humans, but in reality, noise pollution can also have a negative impact on animals. One type of noise pollution that is particularly harmful to animals is known as ‘environmental noise’. This type of noise is created by man-made sources such as cars, planes, and construction sites, and can cause a wide range of problems for animals.
One of the most common effects of environmental noise is that it can cause animals to be disoriented. In other words, they can lose their sense of direction and become lost. This can be very dangerous for animals, especially if they are in an area where they don’t know how to find their way back home.
2. Too much noise affects their communication and mating behaviours.
Noise pollution affects animals in various ways, including communication and mating. Studies have shown that noise pollution can disrupt an animal’s natural behaviour and cause them to resort to abnormal behaviours in order to cope with the noise.
This can be especially harmful for animals that live in close quarters, such as those in zoos or wildlife refuges. Ultimately, it is important to be aware of the effects of noise pollution on animals so that we can take steps to reduce it whenever possible.
Meanwhile, rural communities exposed to noise pollution experience the following:
1. Disgruntled community members, including the change of mood and attitudes.
Being exposed to noise pollution can be disgruntling, especially when it is the first time the community experiences it. Since they are not used to the loud, uncomfortable sounds, they become cranky and easily anxious. They may likewise suffer from sleepless nights and depression in the same manner as those living in urban communities do.
2. Noise affects the activities being held in rural communities.
People living outside the city have their own way of life; they are also more active in community-driven activities, such as celebrating festivals, engaging in village work, and practicing religious traditions -all of which require a peaceful environment. With noise present, they are not able to carry these activities through successfully.
Sound barriers in Singapore are becoming a necessity in improving the acoustic environment of urban, rural, and wildlife settings. These are installed in roads leading to more suburban neighbourhoods so as not to disturb those living in these areas. At the same time, they are now being introduced in rural communities as means to maintain their peaceful vibe.
Sound barriers in Singapore are also found in wildlife sanctuaries to protect the wellbeing of animals. Zoos and animal reserves located in the city now make use of these barriers to significantly reduce the effects of environmental noise to levels animals can tolerate.
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