I love the sound of Cicadas and other singing insects in the summer.  To me, the  height of summer is when the male Cicadas, crickets or Katydids are singing for a mate.  I love to sleep with the windows open for this reason or close my eyes sometimes and just listen while I’m in the garden But did you know noise pollution can harm wildlife and the lack of wildlife sounds is another indicator of habitat destruction? 

Male cicadas and other insects sing to attract a female.Some cidada species emerge annually  and others emerge periodically like the 17 year cicadas.


17 year cicada on my dog's head. Notice the red cicada eyes!

Periodic Cicada: 17 year cicada on my dog’s head. Notice the red cicada eyes and wings!

Although I love the sound of the cicadas and other wildlife, I never really thought about how a lack of wildlife sounds can be an  indicator of  habitat destruction. Have you?  I also never realized how human noise can also destroy wildlife habitat.   Noise pollution can stress not only humans but wildlife  too, plus drown out their territorial, distress and mating calls.   Mowers,  fireworks, airplanes, boats,  ATVs, chain saws, traffic, loud music are just a few human sounds that can cause stress. The stress from noise can cause some wildlife to to abandon their nests,  leave an area altogether,  or make them more vulnerable to predators,  according to Wilderness.net.   I remember watching the local Fourth of July firework show at night overlooking a pond, and seeing herons flying away in the dark when the fireworks started.

So please take the opportunity to reduce noise pollution and to appreciate the sounds of nature instead. We will all greatly  benefit. Plus part of the beauty of the natural world is its sound. I know if I were to never again hear the great horned owl at night or the cicadas during summer, a piece of my soul would also be missing.  The impact of noise pollution on wildlife sounds has been a life long study of Dr. Krause and other scientists. Learn more from naturalist  and soundscape ecologist Dr. Krause on his awesome website “Wild Sanctuary” or  in his awesome Bernie Krause Ted Talk below. 


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