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The Effects of Anthropogenic sound on Marine Mammals - Research Paper Example

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Cetaceans, a highly specialised and distinctive division of mammals, in particular, survive on sound to communicate, reproduce, to find their food, to detect their predators and to…
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The Effects of Anthropogenic sound on Marine Mammals
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Download file to see previous pages It is reasonable to presume that number of adaptive mechanisms has evolved in marine mammals to deal with natural sounds; however it is still uncertain to state that those mechanisms are sufficient to compensate for the comparatively recent advent of anthropogenic ocean noise. Different approaches are adapted by cetaceans that are far better than those developed by terrestrial species at averting or managing the problems created by masking. (Wright et al, 2007) Regardless of these adaptations, they still have limits to mask with this noise.
Sound waves travel further than light in ocean, unfortunately influencing large area of marine mammals. Auditory capabilities have evolved to supplement and/or replace the use of vision for many marine animals. The main reason behind this is that light does not travel very far in water. Although the sound in the ocean environment is a feature of marine mammal habitat, yet marine mammals tends to choose their locations and alter their behaviour positioned on natural and anthropogenic sounds. (Hildebrand, 2005) .Depending on factors, some of which are species, individual, age, sex, initial exposure to noise, and behavioural state, marine mammals shows great variation in the response to noise.
Sources of sound in the aquatic environment can be natural or man-made, but the natural sources are not studied in detail because they could not be controlled easily. Therefore, the focus shifts to the management of noise made by human contributions to the marine acoustic environment, in which sound plays important natural roles. Wide ranges of sound are produced by human activities. These sounds are referred to as Anthropogenic sounds. Concern is now growing towards the influence of noise from human activities on the marine life. Yet, there is a conflicting understanding on how these anthropogenic noises affects at the individual or population level. Characteristics of underwater sound, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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