Site update

Since I have been really terrible at updating the blog (but pretty good at keeping up with the facebook blog posts) I've added the widget below so that facebook cross posts to the blog.

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Monday, November 21, 2011

Noisy human neighbours affect where urban monkeys live

not terribly shocking but nice to have some solid data on it - thanks to Caro D for the link!

Duarte MH, Vecci MA, Hirsch A, Young RJ (2011) Noisy human neighbours affect where urban monkeys live. Biology Letters doi: 10.1098/rsbl.2011.0529


Urban areas and many natural habitats are being dominated by a new selection pressure: anthropogenic noise. The ongoing expansion of urban areas, roads and airports throughout the world makes the noise almost omnipresent. Urbanization and the increase of noise levels form a major threat to living conditions in and around cities. Insight into the behavioural strategies of urban survivors may explain the sensitivity of other species to urban selection pressures. Here, we show that urban black-tufted marmosets (Callithrix penicillata) living in noisy urban areas may select their home-range based primarily on ambient noise level. We have tested the hypothesis that the noise from vehicular traffic and visitors in an urban park in Brazil influences the use of home-range (space) by urban marmosets. Marmosets even avoided noisy areas with high food availability. In addition, they systematically preferred the quieter areas even with dynamic changes in the acoustic landscape of the park between weekdays and Sundays (no observations were made on Saturdays). These data provide evidence that the use of home-range by wild animals can be affected by a potential aversive stimulus such as noise pollution.

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