ASA 125th Meeting Ottawa 1993 May

4pAB3. Effects of simulated aircraft noise on heart rate and behavior of desert ungulates.

Paul R. Krausman

School of Renewable Natural Resources, Univ. of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721

Mark C. Wallace

Mara E. Weisenberger

Donald W. DeYoung

O. E. Maughan

Univ. Arizona, Tucson, AZ

The effects of simulated low-altitude jet aircraft noise on the behavior and physiology of 6 captive desert mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus crooki) and 5 mountain sheep (Ovis canadensis mexicana) were evaluated. Heart rate and behavior in relation to ambient temperature, number of simulated overflights/day, and noise levels [range =92--112 decibels (dB)] that the animals were exposed to were measured. Heart rates during simulated overflights (n=112/treatments/season) were compared to data collected prior to and following treatment periods. Differences between heart rates for animals, noise levels, and number of overflights between seasons were documented. All animals became habituated to sounds of low-altitude aircraft. Although heart rates increased during overflights they returned to resting rates in (less than or equal to)2 min.