A new study is the first in any animal to link noise pollution to stress and show that this connection can disrupt reproduction.
By Jason Bittel
PUBLISHED JANUARY 8, 2018
Deserts are commonly thought of as remote and quiet places. Travel to New Mexico's San Juan Basin, for instance, and you might expect to hear little more than a hot wind whispering through the juniper and piñon pine.
However, a boom in oil and gas activity has transformed the soundscape of this region. Now, depending on how close you are to a well pad or a compressor engine, the desert can resemble the din of a busy office. Or worse. (Get involved with National Geographic's Year of the Bird.)
“Some of the loudest sites can be associated with standing on the tarmac at an airport,” says Clinton Francis, an ecologist at California Polytechnic State University. (Listen to what a compressor station sounds like.)