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Noise Effect on Wildlife

Annotated Bibliography

1. Adams, L.W. 1984. Small mammal use of the interstate highway median strip. Journal of Applied Ecology 21:175‑178.

The author reports that density of small mammals in an unmowed median strip adjacent to an interstate highway to be as great as that in wooded adjacent habitat to a distance of 400m. The report does not address noise directly, however, the relativity density of mammals adjacent to roads would argue against a similar to that reported by Reijnen and colleagues and Forman et al. (2002).

2. Adams, L.W. and A.D. Geis. 1981. Effects of highways on wildlife. Federal Highway Administration Technical Report No. FHWA/RD-81/067.

This report details the use of areas adjacent to roadways by a variety of animals. It is significant in that it covers a diverse number of species in a variety of regional habitats in the United States. Amphibians (salamanders) were found adjacent to roadsides and ROW in the southeast and northwest although they appeared not to cross indicating a barrier effect. A number of small mammal species are reported to prefer ROW habitat and, in some cases, they are more common along large interstate ROW than those of smaller county roads. It is suggested that this may be due to the low number of predators in these ROW areas. Further road size and traffic volume were not critical to deer distribution, however elk were found to avoid areas adjacent to roads.

3. Algers, B., Ekesbo, I. And S. Strömberg. 1978. The impact of continuous noise on animal health. Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica (Supplementum) 67:1-26.

The authors present a review including the sound sensitivities of many major animal species and the physiological response of animals to noise (including major organs, blood, and endocrine function). This provides a good overview of some of the responses, beyond interference with vocalization that would indicate a deleterious effect of noise exposure and explain aversion to this effect.

4. Andersen, D.E., O.J. Rongstad and W.R. Mytton. 1986. The behavioral response of red‑tailed hawk to military training activity. Raptor research 20:65‑68.

The authors report that red-tailed hawks shifted their activity away from military training activities returning when the activity had ceased. The levels of noise associated with these activities are not given and it is not possible to discern how much of the disturbance is due to noise and how much due to the presence of humans.

5. Andersen, D.E., O.J. Rongstaf and W.R. Mytton. 1990. Home range changes of raptors exposed to increased human activity. Wildlife Society Bulletin 18:134‑142.

The authors look at four different raptor species (hawks, eagle) during periods of military activity (including vehicles, camps and helicopter overflights). The birds were found to increase home range size presumably to avoid the activity. Unfortunately, the levels of noise are not measured and it is difficult to determine the impact of the presence of persons in comparison to the noise from vehicles and flights.

6. Anderson, D.W. 1988. In my experience...Dose‑response relationship between human disturbance and brown pelican breeding success. Wildlife Society Bulletin 16:339‑345.

The author describes the response of breeding brown pelicans to humans walking along trails. A negative effect was reported at distances up to 600 m. The specific levels of noise are not given, however, the presence of humans may be an important factor.

7. Awbrey, F.T., D. Hunsaker and R. Church. 1995. Acoustical responses of California gnatcatchers to traffic noise. Inter-noise 65: 971-974.

The authors report on the number of breeding California gnatcatchers in a variety of locations. The calls of this species are recorded between 3 and 6 kHz with a sound level of about 50 dB. The noisiest field location where the birds were located was interstate 15 with a sound level of 69 dB. The masking distance was calculated at 15.2 m from the outer edge of the slow lane. The authors point out that one of the most successful breeding sites for this species is near an airport where noise levels often exceed 70 dB.

8. Banner, A. and M. Hyatt. 1973. Effects of noise on eggs and larvae of two estuarine fish. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 102:134-136.

The authors measured the effect of a range of frequencies a pressure levels on the hatching and fry survival of two estuarine fish. It is significant that the authors note that this is above the levels of sound usually caused by traffic.

9. Baur, A. and B. Baur 1990. Are roads barriers to the dispersal of the land snail Arianta arbustorum? Canadian Journal of Zoology 68:613‑617.

The authors determine that the snail will not crossed wide paved roads. This confirms that roads may pose a barrier to movement rather than repel these organisms by sound.

10. Belanger, L. and J. Bedard. 1990. Energetic cost of man‑induced disturbance to staging snow geese. Journal of Wildlife Management 54:36‑41.

The authors report that snow geese are disturbed by both hunting and aircraft overflights. The noise levels associated with the disturbance are not given. This is one of a number of studies that indicate human presence, with low levels of noise can also be disturbing particularly to waterfowl.

11. Benson, R.H. 1995. Unpublished. The effect of roadway traffic noise on territory selection by Golden-cheeked warblers.

The author reports on the golden-cheeked warbler in a state park in Texas. The sound equivalent per hour varied between 30 and 59 dB. The areas in which the bird sang showed no effect of noise exposure. The song of the bird was at about 5.2 kHz, a higher frequency than road noise.

12. Black, B.B., M.W. Collopy, H.F. Percival, A.A. Tiller and P.G. Bohall. 1984. Effects of low level military training flights on wading bird colonies in Florida. Florida Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, School for Research and Conservation, University of Florida. Technical Report No. 7.

The authors report on the effect of jet fighter overflights on wading birds (egrets) in Florida. Sound levels from 55-100 dB(A) caused no significant effect. The entrance of humans and airboats are reported as more disturbing. Nesting success is also indicated as independent of overflights.

13. Blaxter, J.H.S. and D.E. Hoss. 1981. Startle response in herring Clupea harengus: The effect of sound stimulus. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. 61:871-880.

The authors report on the hearing sensitivity of herring (Clupea harengus L.) giving the pressure and frequency range. There is no discussion of application to levels of noise or sound encountered by this species in the field.

14. Bond, J. 1971. Noise: its effect on the physiology and behavior of animals. Agricultural Science Review 9:1-10.

The author provides a review on the effect of noise on a variety of domesticated animals. Responses to noise (primarily aircraft overflights and sonic booms) are included for cattle, poultry, mink and sheep. The report does not provide significant detail on noise levels or frequencies, but does summarize several studies and includes references to source materials.

15. Borg, E. and A.R. Møller. 1973. Våra omedvtena reaktioner på buller. Forskning och Framsteg 7:5-9.

The authors summarize findings that describe the physiological responses to stress (including noise). These results are summarized (in English) in the report by Algers et al.(3)

16. Bowles, A.E. 1995. Responses of wildlife to noise. pp. 109-156. In: Knight, R.L. and K.J. Gutzwiller. (eds.) Wildlife and Recreationists: Coexistence through Management and Research. Island Press: Washington, D.C.

The author presents a fairly comprehensive review of the responses of various wildlife groups to noise from previously published work including detailing the range of frequencies and sound intensities for terrestrial vertebrates (amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals). The frequencies of peak sensitivity are also indicated. This provides a good overview of the areas that would be of concern for the various groups.

17. Brackenbury, J.H. 1979. Power capabilities of the avian-producing system. Journal of Experimental Biology 78:163-166.

The author reviews the sound producing capabilities of a number of bird species. It is concluded that larger birds are able to produce greater intensities. This can be important in considering the effect of noise particularly with respect to masking vocalization in birds.

18. Brattstrom, B.H. and M.C. Bondello. 1983. Effects of Off-Road vehicle noise on desert vertebrates. pp.167-204. In: Environmental Effects of Off-Road Vehicles. R.H. Webb and H.G. Wilshire (eds.) Springer-Verlag: New York.

The authors found that “dune buggy” noise can affect lizard hearing and that motorcycle noise could cause emergence of spadefoot toads during a period of estivation. The latter effect is of particular concern since emergence at the wrong time could be fatal to these species. Sustained (500 seconds) dune buggy noise was found to impair the hearing of kangaroo rats. This type of environment has not apparently been investigated elsewhere.

19. Brown, A.L. 1990. Measuring the effect of aircraft noise on sea birds. Environment International 16:587‑592.

The authors report on the effect of pre-recorded aircraft noise on the crested tern in Australia. It is noted that levels of 85 dB(A) were required to cause escape behavior and that balloons (i.e. visual disturbance) could also have an effect. It is notable that both visual and auditory stimuli can trigger a similar response.

20. Bunnell, F.L., D. Dunbar, L. Koza and G. Ryder. 1981. Effects of disturbance on the productivity and numbers of white pelicans in British Columbia ‑ observations and models. Colonial Waterbirds 4:2‑11.

The authors note a decline in white pelican breeding in areas of low overflight by aircraft and also suggest that coyote predation may have played a role. There is no quantification of the level of noise or its impact on breeding although it is certainly a possible contributor to the observations.

21. Burger, T. 1981. The effect of human activity on birds at a coastal bay. Biological Conservation 21:231‑241.

The author reports that human activites (jogging and lawn mowing) disturbed herons, egrets and shorebirds with some effect on ducks. Both gulls and terns are reported to show little response. The levels of noise associated with these activities are not given. The results demonstrate that responses to disturbance including noise can be species specific.

22. Burger, J. and M. Gochfield. 1998. Effects of ecotourists on bird behaviour at Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge, Florida. Environmental Conservation 25:13-21.

The authors report on the effect of visitors on several species of waterfowl including herons, rails and ibises. It was found that the loudness of the visitors had as great an effect as the number of people. The scale for loudness was subjective and thus cannot be quantified. The conclusion is that noise can be disturbing to these species.

23. Cain, A.T., V.R. Tuovilla, D.G. Hewitt and M.E. Tewes. 2003. Effects of a highway and mitigation projects on bobcats in Southern Texas. Biological Conservation 114:189-197.

The movement of bobcats across a four-lane highway was recorded. They were observed to cross more frequently using culverts or bridges. The effect of noise is not discussed specifically, however, the more frequent crossing suggests a barrier effect of the road itself rather than a noise induced avoidance.

24. Campbell, H.W. 1969. The effect of temperature on the auditory sensitivity of vertebrates. Physiological Zoology 42:183-210.

The author reviews the auditory sensitivity of a number of species (lizards) making the important point that this can change with ambient temperature (usually that at which activity is maximal). This is an important consideration in the study and modeling of road effects on ectotherms, particularly noise.

25. Clark, B.K., B.S. Clark, L.A. Johnson and M.T. Hayne. 2001. Influence of roads on the movements of small mammals. Southwestern Naturalist 46:338-344.

The movements of small animals in relation to roads are discussed based on a variety of techniques including radio-tracking, capture/recapture and pigment markers. The width of the roads was 6m and this was sufficient to prevent crossing, however the role of noise specifically is not given.

26. Clark, W.D. and J.R. Karr. 1979. Effects of highways on red-winged blackbird and horned lark populations. Wilson Bulletin 91:143-145.

The authors report on the number of birds at distances up to 500 m from both county roads and interstates. The horned lark increased in numbers away from both types of road and were generally more common along county roads. In contrast red-winged blackbirds were greater in numbers nearer to roads especially in May and June. This result is attributed to the horned lark requiring larger areas of open ground and the preference of blackbirds for grass habitat found along the ROW. The level of noise or its potential effect are not discussed. The juxtaposition of these two species in the same area is significant in indicating the importance of other habitat factors along with noise or traffic in the response of wildlife.

27. Clarke, G.P., P.C.L. White and S. Harris. 1998. Effects of roads on Badger Meles meles populations in southwest England. Biological Conservation 86:117-124.

The movement of badgers across high traffic roads in England is attributed to a barrier effect. The role of noise in the results is not discussed. This result is consistent with that of several other mammals that also tended to avoid crossing roads (e.g. Cain et al., 2003; Oxley et al., 1974)

28. Conomy, J.T., J.A. Collazo, J.A. Dubovsky and W.J. Fleming. 1998. Dabbling duck behavior and aircraft activity in coastal North Carolina. Journal of Wildlife Management 62:1127-1134.

The authors report on the effect of aircraft noise for a number of dabbling duck species (black ducks, teal, wigeon). The average sound equivalent was 63 dB(A) and did not appear to alter overall time-activity budgets. It is indicated that there is no major disturbance to normal behavior for these species.

29. Conomy, J.T., J.A. Dubovsky, J.A. Collazo and W.J. Fleming. 1998. Do black ducks and wood ducks habituate to aircraft disturbance? Journal of Wildlife Management 62:1135-1142.

The response of black ducks and wood ducks to jet aircraft overflights (both real and simulated) is discussed. Black ducks became habituated whereas wood ducks did not. The sound levels had a 24 hour equivalent of 63 dB.

30. Debelsteen, T., O.N. Larsen and S.B. Pedersen. 1993. Habitat induced degradation of sound signals: Quantifying the effects of communication sounds and bird location on blur ratio, excess attenuation and signal to noise ratio in blackbird song. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 93:2206-2220.

This study of blackbirds reports on how quickly high-pitched sounds degrade and that this is fairly rapid. Further the sounds travel better from a high perch. This may be important information in looking at the distance sounds need to travel to the size of the birds territories.

31. Delaney, D.K., T.G. Grubb, P. Beiber, L.L. Pater and M.H. Reiser. 1999. Effects of helicopter noise on Mexican spotted owls. Journal of Wildlife Management 63:60-76.

The authors detail the response of Mexican spotted owls to aircraft and chainsaw noise. The birds were found to flush if exposed to lower sound levels from chainsaws than helicopter overflights. The reason for the difference between sound sources is not given.

32. Dooling, R.J. 1982. Auditory perception in birds. In: Acoustic communication in birds (volume 1):95-129. Academic Press, New York.

The author an expert on avian auditory systems presents an overview of perception in a number of species. It is pointed out that species must be able to discriminate their vocalizations from others and background noise and that the thresholds for hearing are greater in birds than for humans at all frequencies. The fact that masking is most effective if in the same region of the spectrum as the vocalization is also indicated. Finally, the fact that signal must exceed background by ~ 20 dB in order to be detected.

33. Dorrance, M.J., P.J. Savage and D.E. Huff. 1975. Effects of snow-mobiles on white-tailed deer. Journal of Wildlife Management 39:563-569.

The authors discuss the impact of snowmobiles on white tailed deer finding that they tended to avoid these. Because it was found that they could be habituated, but not in areas where they had been hunted it is suggested that there may be an effect of this experience. Noise is not discussed as a specific factor in causing avoidance.

34. Evink, G. 2002. Interaction between roadways and wildlife ecology: A synthesis of highway practice. National Cooperative Highway Research Program Synthesis 305. Transportation Research Board, Washington, D.C.

The authors present an NRC estimate of the amount of land in the United States that has been converted to highway, street and right of way. Their estimate is about 20 million acres.

35. Fahrig, L., J.H. Pedlar, S.E. Pope, P.D. Taylor and J.F. Wenger. 1995. Effect of road traffic on amphibian density. Biological Conservation 73:177-182.

The authors report that frog and toad density is reported to decrease with increasing traffic density between 8,500 and 13,000 vehicles per day. The authors conclusion is that this is due to increased mortality and noise is not posited as a possible cause.

36. Feldhamer, G.A., Gates, J.E., Harman, D.M., Loranger, A.J. and K.R. Dixon. 1986. Effects of interstate highway fencing on white-tailed deer activity. Journal of Wildlife Management 50:497-503.

The authors report on the distribution of white-tailed deer along interstate 84 indicating a greater amount of activity along the ROW. This is attributed to the greater amount of forage available in the ROW. The effect of noise is not discussed, however the presence of significant numbers in the ROW would suggest no strong aversion to noise.

37. Fernández-Juricic, E., Jimenez, M.D. and E. Lucas. 2001. Alert distance as an alternative measure of bird tolerance to human disturbance: implications for park design. Environmental Conservation 28:263-269.

The authors report on the response of house sparrow to human pedestrian activity along a pathway. In response they increased the alert distance. No similar effect was seen for blackbirds, woodpigeons or magpies. The level of noise is not indicated, but it does indicate that the responses of species to disturbance are not uniform.

38. Ferris, C.R. 1974. Effects of highways on red-tailed hawks and sparrow hawks. M.S. Thesis, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV.

The author reports on the use of roadside areas by two species of raptors finding that they can make fairly extensive use of these areas as they provide habitat for several species of small rodents that are their prey. There is no indication of the levels of noise or the impact of noise on the birds.

39. Ferris, C.R. 1979. Effects of interstate 95 on breeding birds in northern Maine. Journal of Wildlife Management. 43:421-427.

The author reports on a study along an interstate highway that looked at the density of ten species of breeding birds. Four species were found to become less abundant near the road (bay-breasted warbler, blue jay, Blackburnian warbler and winter wren). Six species were found to become more abundant near the road (especially within 100 m) (chestnut-sided warbler, white-throated sparrow, wood thrush, common yellowthroat, robin and Tennessee warbler). It is noted that both the chestnut-sided warbler, yellowthroat and robin tend to prefer edge habitat and this might explain the results. It is significant that some species can show a negative relationship with the road while others due not.

40. Findley, C.S. and J. Houlahan. 1997. Anthropogenic correlates of species richness in southeastern Ontario wetlands. Conservation biology 11:1000-1009.

The authors report on the numbers of reptiles and amphibians that appear to decline in both number and diversity up to 2000m from two and four lane highways. The decline is attributed to barriers to dispersal rather than to noise, although the latter is not addressed directly.

41. Foppen, R. and R. Reijnen. 1994. The effects of car traffic on breeding bird populations in woodland. II. Breeding dispersal of male willow warblers (Phylloscopus trochilus) in relation to the proximity of a highway. Journal of Applied Ecology 31:95-101.

The authors continue with the second portion of a study on willow warblers near a major highway (50,000 cars/ day) (see also Reijnen and Foppen, 1994). It is reported that dispersal of the males was actively away from the road. The greatest number of individuals were found in the control zone beyond 400 m from the road.

42. Forman, R.T.T. 2000. Estimate of the area affected ecologically by the road system in the United States. Conservation Biology 14:31-35.

The research is by an authoritative worker in the field from Harvard University. The land area of the United States potentially affected by roads is given as much as one-fifth. The estimate is based on a convoluted pattern of roads and on the accuracy of sensitive zones presented by studies in the Netherlands for grassland and woodland birds (see Reijnen, Foppen and others).

43. Forman, R.T.T. and L.E. Alexander. 1998. Roads and their major ecological effects. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 29:207-231.

The authors review a number of the important of effects of roads on the ecology of surrounding areas. Topics discussed include the impact of noise, road mortality, and habitat fragmentation as well as the effect on plant species, water, sediment chemicals and sections dealing with road planning and design. It does reference several major works dealing with the effect of noise.

44. Forman, R.T.T. and R.D. Deblinger. 2000. The ecological road-effect zone of a Massachusetts (U.S.A.) suburban highway. Conservation Biology 14:36-46.

The authors report on the response of various wildlife species (moose, deer, forest and grassland birds, amphibians) to a four lane highway near Boston. The traffic density is between 34,000 and 50,000 vehicles / day. There was some avoidance of by all groups up to 100 m or more. Booth moose corridors and grassland bird avoidance appears at distances up to and beyond 1 km. It is noted that the data on grassland birds are scattered and that woodland bird data are based on expectations from the studies of Reijnen et al. (see associated references). The suggestion is that the road serves as a barrier to the movement of amphibians.

45. Forman, R.T.T., B. Reineking and A.M. Hersperger. 2002. Road traffic and nearby grassland bird patterns in a suburbanizing landscape. Environmental Management 29:782-800.

The authors report on the effect of roads with varying traffic volumes on species of grassland birds in a suburban/rural area near Boston. The principle species are the bobolink and Eastern meadowlark. There was no effect on distribution in areas of low traffic volume (3,000-8,000 vehicles / day). At moderate traffic levels (8,000 – 15,000 vehicles / day) the numbers were not reduced, but the number of breeding birds was reduced up to a distance of 400 m. At higher traffic volume (15,000-30,000 vehicles / day) both the presence and breeding of birds is reduced to 700 m. At the highest traffic volume (>30,000 vehicles / day) both presence and breeding are reduced to 1,200 m). There is essentially no breeding birds found in areas near roads with >15,000 vehicles / day. The levels of noise are not given in this study although further studies that manipulate the level of noise are suggested.

46. Forman, R.T.T., D. Sperling, J.A. Bissonette, A.P. Clevenger, C.D. Cutshall, V.H. Dale, L. Fahrig, R. France, C.R. Goldman, K. Heanue, J.A. Jones, F.J. Swanson, T. Turrentine and T.C. Winter. 2003. Road Ecology: Science and Solutions. 481pp. Island Press: Washington, D.C.

A volume dealing with the developing field of road ecology including sections on roads, vegetation and wildlife, water chemicals and the atmosphere and landscape planning. It reviews the effects of noise on wildlife briefly, but does discuss the major effects found in the studies to deal with noise (especially those dealing with birds by Reijnen and colleagues).

47. Freddy, D.J., W.M. Brenough and Fowler. 1986. Responses of mule deer to disturbances by persons afoot and snowmobiles. Wildlife Society Bulletin 14:63‑68.

The authors report that mule deer were more disturbed by the presence of people afoot than snowmobiles. This was shown by running and greater associated energy expenditure when responding to the presence of pedestrians. The level of noise encountered in this study is not given.

48. Free, J.B., D. Gennard, J.H. Stevenson and I. Williams 1975. Beneficial insects present on a motorway verge. Biological Conservation 8:61‑72.

Collected a large number of insect species (67) on a major highway roadside verge. The authors note that passing traffic did not appear to distract the insects, however, there is no indication of the noise levels encountered.

49. Frings, H. and M. Frings. 1959. Reactions of swarms of Pentaneura aspera (Diptera: tendipedidae) to sound. Annals of the Entomological Society of America 52:728-733.

A report detailing the frequency and sound intensity to which a species of small fly (Diptera) are sensitive. Low frequencies are reported to cause greatest sensitivity.

50. Frings, H. and J. Jumber. 1954. Preliminary studies on the use of a specific sound to repel starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) from objectionable roosts. Science 119: 318-319.

The authors report that starlings can, to some extent, be repelled with distress calls from the same species. The sound level is rather high (85 dB) and indicates that this species can tolerate some significant noise without effect. The relation to highway noise is not discussed.

51. Frings, H. and F. Little. 1957. Reactions of honey bees in the hive to simple sounds. Science 125:122.

Report that details the sound frequency and levels at which honeybee activity ceases. This type of information may be important in suggesting responses of invertebrates to noise.

52. Gese, E.M., O.J. Rongstad and W.R. Mytton. 1989. Changes in coyote movements due to military activity. Journal of Wildlife Management 53:334-339.

The authors report on the response of coyotes to military activity including maneuvers by vehicles (including tanks) and overflights by helicopters and jet aircraft. Individuals with home ranges that had more cover retreated to smaller areas whereas those that were more exposed increased their range. The specific noise levels were not measured and it is difficult to determine how much of the response was due to the presence of traffic versus noise alone.

53. Getz, L.L., F.R. Cole and D.L. Gates. 1978. Interstate roadsides as dispersal routes for Microtus Pennsylvanicus. Journal of Mammalogy 59:208-212.

The authors report that roadside strips of vegetation could be used by a small rodent for dispersal. The roads were large interstates and, while the impact of noise is not addressed directly it can be concluded that there is no extreme barrier to the use of these areas as a result of road noise.

54. Gill, J.A., W.J. Sutherland and A.R. Watkinson. 1996. A method to quantify the effects of human disturbance on animal populations. Journal of Applied Ecology 33:786-792.

The authors report on a study of pink-footed geese that were found to be disturbed from feeding near roads. A method for quantifying the difference in amount of food consumed as an indicator of the decrease in geese presence is given. The effect of noise is not given, disturbance events ranging from overflights to farming and pedestrian activities were recorded. Only distance to the nearest road was a significant predictor of the response.

55. Gill, J.A., K. Norris and W.J. Sutherland. 2001. Why behavioural responses may not reflect the population consequences of human disturbance. Conservation Biology 97:265-268.

The authors discuss whether the degree of behavioral disturbance a population shows is a good indicator of the species that require greatest concern for conservation. The paper does not address noise specifically, but raise the important point that species showing the greatest effect are not necessarily those that need to be considered first in road planning.

56. Green, R.E., G.A. Tyler and C.G.R. Bowden. 2000. Habitat selection, ranging behaviour and diet of the stone curlew (Burhinus oedicnemus) in southern England. Journal of Zoology (London) 250:161-183.

The authors report on the numbers of stone curlews (nocturnal bird) near major roads. The populations were found to be diminished within 3 km of the road. The authors conclude that traffic noise or movement are the most likely cause although the levels of noise encountered are not given. Because this species it is suggested the visual stimuli could have a greater effect although this is not tested. There is no evidence of a lessening of this effect if the habitat nearby is less abundant (i.e. do not appear near the road if habitat may be more suitable than that at a distance).

57. Grubb, T.G. and R.M. King 1991. Assessing human disturbance of breeding bald eagles with classification tree models. Journal of Wildlife Management 55:500‑511.

The authors look at the effect of both pedestrian activity and aircraft overflights on breeding bald eagles. They report that pedestrians were more disturbing. The levels of noise are not given, but this demonstrates that noise alone is not the only factor causing disturbance.

58. Grubb, T.G., L.L. Pater and D.K. Delaney. 1998. Logging truck noise near nesting northern goshawks. USDA Forest Research Service Note RMRS-RN-3.

The authors report on the effect of logging trucks on a breeding female and juvenile goshawk. There was no discernable effect on either bird with peak noise about 80 Hz and ~ 50 dB(A).

59. Gutzwiller, K.J. and W.C. Barrow. 2003. Influences of roads and development on bird communities in protected Chihuahuan desert landscapes. Biological Conservation 113:225-237.

The authors looked the abundance and species richness of 26 species of birds in the desert. The average number of vehicles was 400-459 per day with a speed limit of 45 mph. Both abundance and species richness were reduced for 21 of 26 species within 1-2 km of the road. Other variables were said to be controlled for in the study. The levels of noise were not measured.

60. Hastings, M.C. 1995. Physical effects of noise on fishes. Inter-noise 95, the 1995 International congress on noise control Engineering Vol 2: 979-984.

This report presents a summary of the frequencies and sound pressure levels f a number of fish species. It includes the threshold levels for sensitivity and a summary of frequencies that are best for fish sensitivity. It is a useful summary for prediction of response of species to anticipated noise levels.

61. Hawkins, A.D. 1986. Underwater sounds and fish behaviour. pp. 114-151. In: The behaviour of teleost fishes. T.J. Pitcher (ed.) The Johns Hopkins Press, Baltimore, MD. 553 pp.

The author presents a review of the levels of sound perceived by a variety of fish species. This can be useful for obtaining data to make predictions about how fish in a given area may respond to noise.

62. Hendriks, R.W. 1989. Traffic noise attenuation as a function of ground vegetation. California Department of Transportation Report FHWA/CA/TL-89/09.

The author describes the physics of noise attenuation in various types of environment (e.g. forest, open field) indicating the rate at which different environments affect distance of transmission. There is no discussion of the needs of a particular species, but does provide a useful background in considering the environment in the impact of noise.

63. Henson, P. and T.A. Grant. 1991. The effects of human disturbance on trumpeter swan breeding behavior. Wildlife Society Bulletin 19:248-257.

The authors describe the response of trumpeter swans to road traffic and report that it did not greatly alter behavior as long vehicles did not stop. Louder vehicles were reported to cause a greater disturbance. There is no measurement of the traffic or noise levels so the threshold for a response is not given.

64. Hienz, R.D. and M.B. Sachs. 1987. Effects of noise on pure-tone thresholds in blackbirds (Agelaius phoeniceus and Molothrus ater) and pigeons (Columbia livia). Journal of Comparative Psychology 101:16-24.

This study reports on the critical ratios (the sound level above background) required for sounds to be audible in several species of birds. It is indicated that these ratios are greater for birds than for humans at all levels. It is important to have background information on the auditory requirements of birds in assessing the impact of noise on these species.

65. Jackson, J.A. 1976. Rights-of-way management for an endangered species: the red-cockaded woodpecker. pp. 248-252 In: Symposium on environmental concerns in rights-of-way management, Mississippi State University, January 6-8.

The author discusses the fact that the red-cockaded woodpecker (an endangered species) has some populations located along interstate ROW and that many colonies are found adjacent to roads. It is suggested that interstate ROW can be used to link populations. Although the level of noise is not indicated it is clear that this population is not greatly disturbed by the adjacent noise.

66. Johnson, S.R., D.R. Herter, M.S.W. Bradstreet. 1987. Habitat use and reproductive success of Pacific eiders Somateria mollissima v-nigra during a period of industrial activity. Biological Conservation 41:77-89.

The authors describe the response of Pacific eiders to industrial activity and to aircraft overflights (mainly helicopters). The overflights did not appear to have any negative effect on the birds or the number of nests on the island. The presence of experimental observers appear to have a greater effect.

67. Joselyn, G.B., J.E. Warnock and S.L. Etter. 1968. Manipulation of roadside cover for nesting pheasants – a preliminary report. Journal of Wildlife Management 32:217-233.

The authors report on the use of roadsides by pheasants for nesting. They report that roadsides are more successful than other habitats (including unseeded controls) and that levels of predation were not greater in the ROW. Noise levels are not given, but a deleterious effect would be argued against by the large numbers of breeding birds found in this area.

68. Knight, T.A. 1974. A review of hearing and song in birds with comments on the significance of song in display. Emu 74:5-8.

The author reviews both hearing and vocalization in a number of bird species and discusses the various uses of vocalization in birds including isolation of species, pair-bond, pre-copulatory display, territorial defense, signaling danger, food sources and flock cohesion.

69. Knight, R.L. and K.J. Gutzwiller. 1995. Wildlife and Recreationists: Coexistence through Management and Research. 372 pp. Island Press: Washington, D.C.

The authors provide an overview of the interactions between wildlife and human activity. There is only a brief overview of the effect of roads and noise and this is probably more useful as a general reference.

70. Knudsen, F.R., P.S. Enger and O. Sand. 1992. Awareness reactions and avoidance responses to sound in juvenile Atlantic salmon. Salmo salar L. Journal of Fish Biology 40:523-534.

This study reports on the sensitivity of Atlantic salmon smolts to sound including the frequency and pressure levels that caused an effect and avoidance. This could be used if this or a similar species were under consideration, particularly if areas where juveniles would be found were under consideration.

71. Krausman, P.R. and J.J. Hervert. 1983. Mountain sheep responses to aerial surveys. Wildlife Society Bulletin 11:372-375.

The response of mountain sheep to overflights by small aircraft (Cessna) at altitudes of greater than 50 m was not great. Likewise, moose exposed to overflights at altitudes above 100 m showed no particular disturbance. The levels of noise are not given in this study.

72. Krausman, P.R., B.D. Leopold and D.L. Scarborough. 1986. Desert mule deer response to aircraft. Wildlife Society Bulletin 14:68‑70.

The authors report that desert mule deer could become habituated to overflights by small aircraft (Cessna) at an average altitude of 80 m. The level of noise generated by these flights is not given.

73. Kushlan, J.A. 1979. Effects of helicopter censuses on wading bird colonies. Journal of Wildlife Management 43:756-760.

The author discusses the response of a number of wading birds in Florida (egrets, herons, storks, cormorants) to aircraft overflights. There are no significant responses indicated to most overflights although the sound levels are not given making it difficult to quantify the level of disturbance.

74. Langowski, D.J., H.M. Wight and J.N. Jacobson. 1969. Responses of instrumentally conditioned starlings to aversive acoustical stimuli. Journal of Wildlife Management 33:669-677.

The study details the response of starlings to sounds over a range of sound frequencies and intensities and that there is a relationship between the intensity and level of disturbance. The range of effect is between about 50-100 dB. This forms part of a body of information indicating the level of sounds that can be disturbing to birds.

75. Laurensen, K. 1981. Birds on roadside verges and the effect of mowing on frequency and distribution. Biological conservation 20:59-68.

The author reports on the use of roadside verges in Denmark by the skylark finding that the birds preferred to forage in this area as compared to adjacent fields. The ROW was also found to be a favored site for nesting when compared to adjacent areas. The roadside areas varied between 1 and 5m. A similar response is reported for the house sparrow and tree sparrow although these are not discussed to the same extent. The level of noise and traffic volume were not measured although the studies occurred outside of major urban areas.

76. Liddle, M. 1997. Recreation ecology: The ecological impact of outdoor recreation and ecotourism. 639 pp. Chapman and Hall: New York.

The author describes a wide variety of interactions between human activity and the response of all animal groups (fish, reptiles, amphibians, birds, mammals). The level of disturbance is qualified at three levels from mild to extreme. There is discussion of a variety of effects, however only a small portion is actually devoted to the effects of noise and is included under different sections for various species.

77. Luce, A. and M. Crowe. 2001. Invertebrate terrestrial diversity along a gravel road on Barrie Island, Ontario, Canada. The Great Lakes Entomologist 34:55-60.

The report looks at the numbers of terrestrial arthropods (insects) at distances up to 15 m from a gravel road finding no significant changes in numbers. This is one of the few studies that deals with invertebrate numbers at varying distances from a roadway although it does not address noise specifically.

78. Lyon, L.J. 1983. Road density models describing habitat effectiveness for elk. Journal of Forestry 81:592-595.

The authors present a method for determining the amount of elk use based on the amount of roaded area. The study does not directly address noise, but does predict significant reductions in use of areas with a density of more than 5.5 miles of road per square mile of area. The fact that roads can cause an effect is important, however the extent to which this reflects a physical barrier versus a noise effect remains to be determined.

79. Mader, H.J. 1981. Animal habitat isolation by roads and agricultural fields. Biological Conservation 29:81-96.

Report on the effect of emissions from roads (including noise) as having a potential effect on inhibiting movement of carabid beetles near the road. It is one of few studies to mention noise with respect to these invertebrates. This study also reports on two species of forest mice that were inhibited from crossing a two-lane highway. In this case noise is included in a suite of possible causes for the effect, however the specific levels of noise or traffic are not given.

80. Malar, T. and H. Kleerkoper. 1968. Observations on some effects of sound intensity on the locomotor pattern of naïve goldfish. American Zoologist 8:741-742.

This study reports on the sound frequency and pressure level that caused avoidance reaction in goldfish. The study does not detail a range of frequencies and intensities to give a broader indication of the response of this species.

81. Manci, K.M., D.N. Gladwin, R. Vilella and M.G. Cavendish. 1988. Effects of aircraft noise and sonic booms on domestic animals and wildlife: a literature synthesis. National Ecology Research Center Report# NERC-88/29.

The authors provide a review the effects of noise (mainly from aircraft or simulated sonic booms) on a variety of wildlife. The report deals with all major wildlife groups, but the sound levels are generally louder and of shorter duration than road noise. The overview of material is quite extensive.

82. Marten, K. and P. Marler. 1977. Sound transmission and its significance for animal vocalization. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 2:271-290.

The authors report on factors that can effect sound transmission including the height of transmission (close to ground attenuates faster) and frequency. Thus, perch height may be important in the amount of transmission.

83. McGurk, B.J. and D.R. Fong. 1995. Equivalent roaded area as a measure of cumulative effect of logging. Environmental Mangement 19: 609-621.

Studied the effect of the effective roaded area on the numbers of aquatic invertebrates. Although the index is developed based on a model it does show a diversity decline as the effective roaded area increase above 5%.

84. Memphis State University. 1971. Effects of noise on wildlife and other animals. United States Environmental Protection Agency Office of Noise Abatement and Control Washington, D.C. Document NTID300.5.

The authors review the effect of noise on wildlife. At the date of publication most of the information dealt with domesticated birds and mammals. There is some material on the effects of noise on livestock, but much of the information deals with the sensitivities of species or the sound levels that can physical damage the hearing apparatus of species. There is very little information on roads or the sound levels that are likely to be encountered near roadways. The review of material as of the date of preparation is quite extensive.

85. Michael, E.D. 1975. Effects of highways on wildlife. West Virginia Department of Highways Report FHWA-WV-76-09.

A review of the response of vertebrate species to an adjacent highway at distances up to 1 mile into the surrounding woods. The study is able to compare distributions of species prior to and one year following the construction of a highway. The effect of noise is not addressed specifically, however, the effect on the numbers of several and species are given both before and following construction of a highway in the Appalachians. No game animal showed a difference in distribution following the road construction including rabbits, squirrels, foxes and deer. Rabbits are reported to increase in numbers near the road. The numbers of birds and species diversity is reported to be greater in the ecotone than in either the ROW or native forest. None of the bird species were adversely affected and the authors speculate that numbers of species that prefer ecotone or ROW vegetation may increase including starlings, indigo buntings, red-winged blackbirds and goldfinches.

86. Michael, E.D., C.R. Ferris and E.G. Haverlack. 1976. Effects of highway rights of way on bird populations. Proceedings of the First National Symposium on Environmental Concern. pp. 253-261.

The authors report on the use of planted ROW habitat by bird species. More bird species were found in the ecotone compared to the surrounding forest up to one mile from the road. It is noted that the ROW supports both insects and rodents as food sources and that species requiring forest habitat would be expected to be reduced. The fact that some species occur in significant numbers indicates that noise was not sufficient to repel them.

87. Minton, Jr. S.A. 1968. The fate of amphibians and reptiles in a suburban area. Journal of Herpetology 2:113-116.

An early study of the effect of roads on a number of amphibians and reptiles (snakes, turtles). It does not address noise directly suggesting that this was not recognized as significant, but does discuss some of the initial observations of barrier effects of roads themselves.

88. Munguira, M.L. and J.A. Thomas. 1992. Use of road verges by butterfly and burnet populations and the effect of roads on adult dispersal and mortality. Journal of Applied Ecology 29:316-329.

A side ranging study of the numbers of butterfly species present on the roadside verges of major roads in England. The large number of species (23 or 40% of total found in England) suggests little effect of noise. The noise levels are not given in the study.

89. Norén, O. 1987. Noise from animal production. pp. 27-46. In: Animal Production and Environmental Health. D. Strauch (ed.). Elsevier Science Publishers: New York.

The author provides a good basic introduction to the principles of sound production and measurement. He further discusses the principles of sound propagation and attenuation. This is useful in understanding the principles that affect sound.

90. Oetting, R.B. and J.F. Cassel. 1971. Waterfowl nesting on interstate right of way in North Dakota. Journal of Wildlife Management 35:774-781.

The authors report on the use of interstate-94 ROW areas by dabbling ducks (mallard, pintails, gadwalls) for nesting. The amount of breeding was greater in unmowed ROW than in mowed areas. The level of noise is not measured and there is no comparison to control areas away from the ROW. However, numbers of birds were found to breed in the ROW and it is suggested that the road may have served as a barrier to the movement of predatory foxes.

91. Okanoya, K. and R.J. Dooling. 1987. Hearing in passerine and psittacine birds: a comparative study of absolute and masked auditory thresholds. Journal of Comparative Psychology 101:7-15.

authors measured the auditory threshold of several species (starling, sparrow, finch) and determined the critical ratio necessary for audibility over a range of frequencies. From a range of 0.4 Hz to 6 kHz the ratio rises from ~ 20-35 dB. This information may be important in determining the levels of vocalization necessary for detection against background noise.

92. Oxley, D.J., M.B. Fenton and G.R. Carmody. 1974. The effects of roads on populations of small mammals. Journal of Applied Ecology 11:51-59.

The movement of small mammals (rodents) adjacent to roads is described including 4 lane interstate highways. The results show that the large highways are as effective as bodies of water twice as wide preventing distribution of these species. The effect is described as a barrier and noise is not discussed as contributing factor.

93. Owens, N.W. 1977. Responses of wintering Brent geese to human disturbance. Wildfowl 28:5‑14.

This report details the disturbance of Brant geese to overflights (at altitudes between 500 m and 1.5 km) and to human pedestrian activity. The levels of sound associated with the disturbance are not quantified. The results do indicate that human presence can be as disturbing as the much louder noise of aircraft.

94. Popper, A.N. and R.R. Fay. 1993. Sound detection and processing by fish: a critical review and major research questions. Brain, Behaviour and Evolution 41:14-39.

The authors present a review of hearing in fish. It contains a fairly extensive review of the anatomy of sound detection in fish and presents some information on the range of detection possible by fish. It provides less of an indication of the frequencies and sound levels detected by a variety of fish species that are found in other reviews.

95. Räty, M. 1979. Effect of highway traffic on tetraonid densities. Ornis Fennica 56:169-170.

The author conducted one of the first studies to look at the distribution of birds usiung a series of transects away from a roadway. The study looked at grouse species at distances up to 1 km from a road with a traffic density of 700-3,000 cars / day. A reduction in density of two thirds was reported at a distance up to 250 m from the road and some reduction in density was found up to 500 m. The study began at a distance of 25 m from the roadway so there is no information about use of the ROW for comparison. The cause of this “highway effect” is not given and the levels of noise are not measured.

96. Reijnen, M.J.S.M., J.B.M. Thissen and G.J. Bekker. 1987. Effects of road traffic on woodland breeding bird populations. Acta Ecologia/Ecologia Generalis 8: 312-313.

This is the first study by the research group in the Netherlands that looked at the effect of traffic on nearby breeding birds. It was found that the numbers of breeding birds declined at distances up to 300 m from the road (the greatest distance measured). The road was heavily traveled with traffic levels of 30,000-40,000 vehicles / day. The level of noise was not measured in this study.

97. Reijnen, R. and R. Foppen. 1994. The effects of car traffic on breeding bird populations in woodland I. Evidence of reduced habitat quality for willow warblers (Phylloacopus trochilus) breeding close to a highway. Journal of Applied Ecology 31:85-94.

The authors, in the first of a series of studies, looked at willow warbler numbers and in particular, older, territorial males at distances of up to 400 m from a busy highway (50,000 cars /day). It was found that the numbers of the older birds were greatest at the farthest distance from the road (400 m) indicating a preference for this area. The authors suggest that noise may be an important factor (estimated at 50 dB(A) at a distance of 500 m) in this effect.

98. Reijnen, R. and R. Foppen. 1995. The effects of car traffic on breeding bird populations in woodland. IV. Influence of population size on the reduction of density close to the highway. Journal of Applied Ecology 32:481-491.

This study conducted in the Netherlands looked at the numbers of 43 species of woodland birds in both deciduous and coniferous forests. It is found that 26 species (60%) showed some negative effect. This study reports that noise is the best independent variable for predicting the “effect distances”. The numbers of individuals were found to be reduced between 40-1,500 m at a traffic density of 10,000 cars/day and 70 -2,800 m at a density of 60,000 cars/day. The frequency range of noise was between 100 Hz and 10 kHz but loudest at 100-200 Hz and 0.5 to 4 kHz. The threshold for an effect seemed to be between 20-56 db(A). The authors note that if the level of noise is held constant there was no apparent difference in areas of high and low vehicle visibility.

99. Reijnen, R., R. Foppen, C. Ter Braak and J. Thissen. 1995. The effects of car traffic on breeding bird populations in woodland. III. Reduction in the density in relation to the proximity of main roads. Journal of Applied Ecology 32: 187-202.

The authors report on 23 species of woodland birds adjacent to a highway with relatively high density (40-52,000 cars / day). Of the total species 17 showed some reduction in numbers nearer to the road. The effect was found to be diminished in years when the overall population was high presumably due to some individuals being forced into less desirable areas. It is suggested that measurements be made over several years to increase the accuracy of this measurement. The importance of looking at more than just density is supported by other reports such as that of van Horne (1983).

100. Reijnen, R., R. Foppen and H. Meeuwsen. 1996. The effects of car traffic on the density of breeding birds in Dutch Agricultural Grasslands. Biological Conservation 75:255-260.

The authors report on the numbers of grassland bird species adjacent to roads where 7 of 12 species studied showed some effect. Roads with moderate traffic volume (5,000 cars/day) showed a 12-56% of most species within 100 m of the road beyond 100 m only the black-tailed godwit and oystercatcher showed an effect. Roads with higher density (50,000 cars/ day) showed a reduction of 12-52% at distances up to 500 m. The lapwing, shoveler, black-tailed godwit and oystercatcher were reduced between 14 and 44% at distances up to 1500 m. The authors note that noise as the best predictor of these results carries a number of factors with it including number, size and speed of vehicles. Noise levels adjacent to the road were about 59 dB(A) and 38 dB(A) in more remote areas. It is worth noting that the surrounding habitat in the study was relatively undisturbed with no farmhouses within 250 m of the measured transect.

101. Roach, G.L. and R.D. Kirkpatrick. 1985. Wildlife use of woody plantings in Indiana. Transportation Research Record 1016:11-15.

The authors report on a number of bird species (red-winged blackbird, goldfinch, and song sparrow) using plantings in ROW (mainly in interstate highways). Plantings were found to significantly increase the use of the habitat compared to control areas.

102. Rost, G.R. and J.A. Bailey. 1979. Distribution of mule deer and elk in relation to roads. Journal of Wildlife Management 43:634-641.

The authors report on the effect of roads on deer and elk distribution and looked at paved, gravel and dirt roads. Their conclusion is that both attempted to avoid areas within 200m of the road and that the effect was greater for mule deer than for elk. They also note that road visibility did not apparently play a role in the density of either species. Whether there is an effect if noise is not discussed although the potential of an effect due to experience with hunting is discussed.

103. Rucker, R.R. 1973. Effect of sonic boom on fish. Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation Admininstration Report No. FAA-RD-73-29.

The author presents the results of sonic booms on the trout and salmon eggs and fry. The report does not detail the effect of lesser sound levels and thus is probably of more use in conjunction with other findings detailing the response of these and related species.

104. Rudolph, D.C., S.J. Burgdorf, R.N. Conner and R.R. Schaefer. 1999. Preliminary evaluation of the impact of roads and associated vehicular traffic on snake populations in eastern Texas. pp. 129-136. In: Proceedings of the third international symposium on wildlife ecology and transportation. G.L. Evink, P. Garrett and D. Ziegler (eds.). Florida Department of Transportation, Tallahassee, FL. Report No. FL-ER-73-99.

The author reports on the increased mortality of large snakes crossing roads. The similarity in effect in a range of road sizes and traffic volumes from interstate to county roads suggests that noise alone is not having a significant effect.

105. Scott, G.B. and P. Moran. 1993. Effects of visual stimuli and noise on fear levels in laying hens. Applied Animal Behaviour Science 37:321-329.

The author reports that there is no significant impact of noise from conveyor belts on laying hens. Sound levels were in the range of 70 dB. This is important in providing an indication of the levels of noise that can be tolerated by various birds.

106. Seabrook, W.A. and E.B. Dettmann. 1996. Roads as activity corridors for cane toads in Australia. Journal of Wildlife Management 60:363-368.

This report details the use of roads to dispersal by cane toads in Australia. The numbers of individuals were greater near the edge of the road or vehicle track. Although the traffic density is not given it appears to have been low. The impact of noise is not discussed although it did not appear to impair the use of roads by this species.

107. Shultz, R.D. and J.A. Bailey. 1978. Responses of national park elk to human activity. Journal of Wildlife Management 42:91-100.

The authors report on a study of Elk in Rocky Mountain national park finding that the presence of traffic resulted in only a slight avoidance in early winter. The specific effect of noise is not addressed.

108. Singer, F.J. 1978. Behavior of mountain goats in relation to US Highway 2, Glacier Park, Montana. Journal of Wildlife Management 42:591‑597.

The author reports on the effect of a highway crossing a national park on mountain goat distribution (speed limit 50 mph). Both vehicles and highway noise are reported as perceived threats and would prevent animals moving toward salt licks. This is one of few studies of large ungulates to address noise as having an effect as opposed to road as barrier.

109. Singer, F.J. and J.B. Beattie. 1986. The controlled traffic system and associated wildlife responses in Denali National Park. Arctic 39:195-203.

The effect on several large mammals (caribou, grizzly, Dall sheep, moose) following the opening of a national park to a roadway is detailed. There was no significant decline in the sightings of any species except moose. Grizzly bears were reported to move closer to the road after construction. The level of noise is not given, but the presence of numbers of individuals suggests that there was no significant disturbance with the possible exception of moose.

110. Stadelman, W.J. 1958. The effect of sounds of varying intensity on hatchability of chicken egg. Poultry Science 37:166-169.

The author reports that there is no measurable effect on hatchability of chicken eggs or chick quality following exposure to noise in incubators. This is significant in that potential deleterious effects of noise on birds would include those on reproductive efficiency.

111. Stadelman, W.J. 1958. Observations with growing chickens on the effects of sounds of varying intensities. Poultry Science 37:776-779.

The author indicates that broiler chickens could be grown in areas of significant noise (~120 dB) without loss of weight. The potential effects of noise on both growth and development of birds is critical in evaluating the impact on wildlife.

112. Stalmaster, M.V. and J.R. Newman 1978. Behavioral responses of bald eagles to human activity. Journal of Wildlife Management 42:506‑513.

The authors studied the effect of human activities on wintering bald eagles and report that normal activities such as boating and fishing did not disturb the birds. Normal sounds from these activities are reported as not having an effect. However, gunshots did disturb them causing flight (escape behavior). This study does not give the levels of noise encountered or the effects of greater levels of noise.

113. Tabor, R. 1974. Earthworms, crows, vibrations and motorways. New Scientist 62:482-483.

Reports on the numbers of earthworms emerging near a major motorway and provides some explanation for the behavior. The report notes that birds (crows) may be attracted to roadside verges if food is available.

114. Thurber, J.M., R.O. Peterson, T.D. Drummer and S.A. Thomasma. 1994. Gray wolf response to refuge boundaries and roads in Alaska. Wildlife Society Bulletin 22:61-68.

The authors report on a survey of several wolf packs. The presence of the road alone appeared to no have a significant effect as the home range of one pack straddled the highway for several years whereas a less traveled road to an oilfield was less used possibly due to the human presence.

115. Trombulak, S.C. and C.A. Frissell. 2000. Review of the ecological effects of roads on terrestrial and aquatic communities. Conservation Biology 14:18-30.

The authors provide a general review of the effects of roads on the ecology of a variety of species. The study does not address the impact of noise extensively and is more useful as a general overview of factors to be considered in the environmental impact of roads most particularly disruption of the physical and chemical environment including fragmentation and mortality.

116. van der Zande, A.N., W.J. ter Keurs and W.J. Van der Weijden. 1980. The impact of roads on the densities of four bird species in an open field habitat- evidence of a long distance effect. Biological Conservation 18:299-321.

The authors report on a reevaluation of data gathered originally by Veen (1973) in the Netherlands. It is found that three species (lapwing, godwit and redshank) were reduced in density and numbers of nests at distances up to 500-600m from rural road and 1,600 to 1,800 m from a busy highway. A fourth species, the oystercatcher did not appear to show the same response. The level of noise was not measured for either type of road.

117. van Dyke, F.G., R.H. Brecke, H.G. Shaw et al. 1986. Reactions of mountain lions to logging and human activity. Journal of Wildife Management 50:95‑102.

The activity of mountain lions in different levels of human activity is given. Areas where timber was being harvested had a more negative effect on the presence of individuals than the overall road density. There is a potential avoidance zone for machine noise given between 100 m and 1 km. However, the specific levels of noise are not given.

118. van Horne, B. 1983. Density as a misleading indicator of habitat quality. Journal of Wildlife Management 47:893-901.

The author discusses the importance of using more than density as an indicator of the suitability of habitat by giving examples of cases in which density was high, but habitat less desirable due to some individuals being forced into marginal areas by older, more dominant ones. This is an important consideration in studies that wish to indicate whether there is an effect of noise or roads based on density alone.

119. Veen, J. 1973. De verstoring van weidevogelpopulaties. Stedebouw en Volkshuisvesting 53:16-26.

The author published original data on four species of bird in the Netherlands and the impact of roads on their density and nesting. The data are reevaluated in English by van der Zande et al. (1980) and are discussed there.

120. Vickery, P.D., M.L. Hunter, Jr. and S.M. Melvin. 1994. Effects of habitat area on the distribution of grassland birds in Maine. Conservation Biology 8:1087-1097.

The authors report on the amount of habitat area required for ten grassland bird species. The results range from 200 ha for the upland sandpiper to 10 ha for the savanna sparrow. The effect of noise is not discussed although the potential of using airports as sites for species conservation in more developed areas is made. It is important to note that some species require larger areas of habitat and that this may effect their utilization of areas nearer roadsides. The studies by Clark and Karr (1979), Ferris (1979) and some by Reijnen and colleagues suggest that habitat factors in addition to traffic and noise may be important in the utilization of roaded areas by birds.

121. Voorhees, L.D. and F.J. Cassel. 1980. Highway right-of-way: mowing versus succession as related to duck nesting. Journal of Wildlife Management 44:155-163.

The authors report on the use of interstate 94 ROW habitat in North Dakota by dabbling ducks. The same species are looked at as in an earlier study (Oetting and Cassel, 1971) and the preference for unmowed sections is the same as the earlier study. It is noted that nest success declined in areas where the vegetation was older perhaps due to increased predation. The levels of noise encountered are not mentioned and the response to noise can only be estimated from the frequent use of the ROW for nesting.

122. Ward, A.L., J.J. Cupal, A.L. Lea et al. 1973. Elk behavior in relation to cattle grazing, forest recreation and traffic. North American Wildlife National Research Conference Transactions 38:327‑337.

The authors report on the effect of interstate 80 on elk behavior indicating both the noise level for both cars and trucks. There is little effect reported within 300 yards due to noise, however the road did act as a barrier to crossing.

123. Warner, R.E. and G.B. Joselyn. 1986. Responses of Illinois ring-necked pheasant populations to block roadside management. Journal of Wildlife Management 50:525-532.

The authors report on the breeding of ring-necked pheasants using roadsides and makes the important observation that in areas where much of the landscape is being used for agriculture (especially small grains) the ROW may provide a more suitable breeding area. The noise levels along the road are not given.

124. Warner, R.E., G.B. Joselyn and S.L. Etter. 1987. Factors affecting roadside nesting by pheasants in Illinois. Wildlife Society Bulletin 15:221-228.

The authors report on ring-necked pheasants using roadside plots where nest densities exceed those found in even control areas away from the road. It is also suggested that ROW can act as a buffer for other areas that experience greater variability. The effect of noise is not directly addressed the presence of significant numbers of breeding birds argues against a significant effect in this species.

125. Warner, R.E. 1992. Nest ecology of grassland passerines on road rights‑of‑way in central Illinois. Biological Conservation 59:1‑7.

The author studied grassland birds along a (four-lane) interstate highway and secondary ROW in rural Illinois. The number of nests and species increased with roadside width being greatest on heavily trafficked interstates. Traffic densities on secondary roads also did not influence the density of nests. The vast majority of nests belonged to red-winged blackbirds. The levels of noise were not measured. It is notable that as surrounding farmland became more diverse the numbers of nests could also vary indicating that broader landscape factors also play a role in site selection.

126. Way, J.M. 1977. Roadside verges and conservation in Britain: A review. Biological Conservation 12:65-73.

The author provides a review of the use of roadsides for breeding by all major wildlife species in England. Both county roads and major highways were included. It is reported that 20 of 50 mammal species, 40 of 200 birds, 25 of 60 butterflies, 8 of 17 bumble bees and 5 of 6 amphibian species are found to use the roadsides. It appears that the quantity of herb-rich grassland without scrub is particularly in the importance of the utilization of ROW habitat. The specific levels of noise are not discussed, but is in agreement with studies that have found species to breed in the ROW in numbers.

127. Wenz, G.M. 1962. Acoustic ambient noise in the ocean: spectra and sources. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 34:1936-1956.

This paper presents a review of the levels of background noise encountered in the ocean including a review of sounds from ocean traffic. It presents a potentially useful overview of levels of sound and frequencies that are often encountered for comparison to other measurements.

Updated: 07/14/2011
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