Deer change nature’s soundscape, just like humans do

Photo credit: Steve from Pexels

by David M. Sykes, Vice Chair, The Quiet Coalition

Most of us think of deer as very quiet. But this NPR article on a study published on the science research site Plos One describes how the eating habits of a herd of deer change the soundscape of an area in ways that affect other creatures’ habitats

According to Megan Gall, a researcher at Vassar College, deer accomplish this by (quietly) eating the underbrush that provides “acoustical privacy” for song birds and other creatures that inhabit a forested area.

So humans aren’t the only ones transforming the landscape!

In addition to serving as vice chair of the The Quiet Coalition, David Sykes chairs several professional organizations in acoustical science: The Acoustics Research Council, American National Standards Institute Committee S12, Workgroup 44, The Rothschild Foundation Task Force on Acoustics, and the FGI Acoustics Working Group—a partner of the American Hospital Association. He is the lead author of “Sound & Vibration 2.0 (2012, Springer-Verlag), a contributor to the National Academy of Engineering report “Technology for a Quieter America,” and to the US-GSA guidance “Sound Matters”, and co-founded the Laboratory for Advanced Research in Acoustics (LARA) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He recently retired from the board of directors of the American Tinnitus Association. A graduate of the University of California/Berkeley with graduate degrees from Cornell University, he is a frequent organizer of and speaker at professional conferences in the U.S., Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.

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