5aAB1. The effect of roadway traffic noise on territory selection by Golden-cheeked Warblers.

Session: Friday Morning, May 17

Time: 8:05

Author: Robert H. Benson
Location: Ctr. for Bioacoustics, Texas A&M Univ., College Station, TX 77843-3367


Widespread concern that environmental noise produced by humans can negatively affect animal populations is reflected in a growing body of literature. This study evaluates the possible effects of roadway traffic noise on territory selection by the endangered Golden-cheeked Warbler. Seventy-eight listening posts were established randomly in a 212 ha study area in central Texas. Noise exposure at each post was estimated using a noise simulation model based on traffic counts. The presence or absence of warblers at each post was determined by field observations. Data were analyzed to determine if a correlation existed between the estimated noise exposure and the occurrence of warblers at a listening post. Exposure in L[sub eq(h)] ranged from 29.7--58.6 dB. Warblers were detected at 30 of the 78 listening posts. When the 78 posts were divided into high-noise and low-noise groups, there was no significant difference between the occurrence of warblers in the groups. Logistic regression failed to reveal a significant correlation between the occurrence of warblers at listening posts and the exposure to noise. It is concluded that, within the range of noise exposures considered in this study, Golden-cheeked Warblers do not select territories based on exposure to roadway traffic noise.

from ASA 131st Meeting, Indianapolis, May 1996