The behavioral and physiological effects of low-flying aircraft on desert ungulates
AdvisorKrausman, Paul R.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractI evaluated the effects of simulated noise from low-flying jet aircraft on the behavior and physiology of 6 captive desert mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus crooki) and 5 captive mountain sheep (Ovis canadensis mexicana). I measured heart rate, body temperature, ambient temperature, and behavior related to the number of overflights/day, and decibel levels (dB) animals were exposed to (range = 92-112). I recorded heart rate and body temperatures from transmitters implanted into the body cavity of animals. Ambient temperature was recorded in the pens and behavior was described from visual observations. I compared heart rates during simulated overflights by jet aircraft (N = 112/season) of sheep and deer to data collected prior to and following treatments. I documented differences between heart rates, species, dB levels, and number of overflights/day within and between seasons. All animals became habituated to aircraft noise. Although heart rates increased during overflights, they returned to the resting heart rate in ≤ 2 minutes.