A California State University research team conducted a five-year ecological study of six species of birds in the oil fields of northwestern New Mexico to understand how sensory intrusions, such as light and noise pollution, affect its survival, reproduction and general health. birds. With the increase in human population and more light and noise generated, scientists are interested in examining how these stressors could exacerbate the challenges of climate change in New Mexico’s San Juan Basin.
Previous studies exploring the effects of excessive noise and light on bird populations have been conducted primarily in urban areas, where birds face increased threats from predators, toxic chemicals, and traffic. This study aims to isolate light or noise pollution in a rural environment to observe how each of these factors affects individual songbirds.
By conducting this research in the same northwestern region of New Mexico as a previous study conducted by research leader Clint Francis in 2005, the team sought to measure the effects of noise and light pollution on birds in a controlled environment. The objective was to determine whether the combination of noise and light pollution had alarming effects on songbirds.
The study will focus on six specific songbird species: Ashy-throated flycatchers, gray flycatchers, mountain bluebirds, western bluebirds, sparrows and goldfinches. By uncovering information about how noise and light pollution affect these birds, researchers hope to provide knowledge that will help people adjust their noise and light levels, allowing for to live better with birds.
Funding for the study was provided by a nearly $900,000 grant from the National Science Foundation.
– The Santa Fe New Mexican