B. Andrew Kugler
David S. Barber
BBN Systems and Technologies, A Division of Bolt Beranek and Newman, Inc., 21120 Van Owen St., Canoga Park, CA 91316
The effects of aircraft noise on wildlife have received much attention from the environmental community, especially when associated with low altitude aircraft overflights. In the past, much of the research on this subject used surrogate information to describe noise events in field studies. For example, noise exposure was often measured at an observer location, far removed from the animal under study, or inferred from the presence of aircraft flyovers. This paper describes the development and application of an animal noise monitor (or ANM) that can be mounted on a collar and worn by a subject animal over extended periods of time. The approach allows for measurement of noise exposure of the animal whose behavior is being observed, without external interference other than initial capture. The device is capable of recognizing aircraft noise events, calculating a variety of acoustic descriptors associated with these events, and retaining the information in memory for up to 6 months until the ANM is recovered from the field. The ANM, in addition to time- and date-stamping of each event, also contains a monitor that can measure and record the activity of an animal during and immediately after a noise intrusion. The ANM is capable of withstanding harsh environments and operates over a wide temperature range. This instrumentation has been used recently on a caribou noise effects study in Alaska.