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Avian Urban Ecology$
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Diego Gil and Henrik Brumm

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199661572

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199661572.001.0001

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The application of signal transmission modelling in conservation biology

The application of signal transmission modelling in conservation biology

on the possible impact of a projected motorway on avian communication

(p.192) Chapter 15 The application of signal transmission modelling in conservation biology
Avian Urban Ecology

Erwin Nemeth

Sue Anne Zollinger

Oxford University Press

This chapter presents a case study investigating whether traffic noise from a new motorway will have adverse effects on the acoustic communication of a threatened charadriiform bird, the Eurasian stone-curlew (Burhinus oedicnemus). It also determines whether, and to what extent, noise control measures might be effective in ameliorating any negative impacts of noise on the birds. To this aim, the study calculates the impact on curlew communication for six different potential noise scenarios. It predicts the masking influence of traffic noise on acoustic communication based on following data: the level and spectral composition of noise; the sound pressure level (SPL) and spectral characteristics of the acoustic signals; the transmission properties of the signals in the respective habitat; and knowledge about the hearing capabilities of the concerned species in noise. The results show that for the new motorway, the target criterion of a less than 10% loss of communication area can only be reached by using the strongest noise abatement measure — a lowered motorway with steep earth walls at an overall height of 10m measured up from the pavement.

Keywords:   traffic noise, noise pollution, avian communication, acoustic communication, Eurasian stone-curlew, Burhinus oedicnemus, noise control, masking, noise abatement

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