Tuesday, August 06, 2019

The Terrifiying Presence of Humans

From Atlantic magazine:

... the gentlest of human speech can make wild animals—even top predators—unnerved and watchful, in ways that shake entire food webs. It’s the clearest demonstration yet that we are among the scariest of animals—a super-predator that terrifies even the carnivores that themselves incite terror.... in 2016, Suraci and his adviser, Liana Zanette, from Ontario’s Western University, showed that raccoons in the Gulf Islands spent less time foraging on local beaches if they heard recordings of dogs. And because the raccoons skedaddled, the rock pools filled with more fish, worms, and crabs. Fear reshaped the entire beach.... In an English forest, the researchers played the sounds of various carnivores to local badgers. The badgers ignored the sounds of wolves entirely and were mildly concerned by the growls of wolves and bears. But they were profoundly disturbed by human speech, even the genteel tones of some BBC documentaries and a reading of The Wind in the Willows.

1 comment:

tuffy said...

i've read that it's not just human sound, but also human *smell*...animals are apparently bothered much more by human smell than predator smells...
i'm not surprised by any of it frankly...we are by far the most destructive force on the plant.