Noisy neighbours: Effects of construction noises on nesting seabirds.

Larissa Iasiello, Diane Colombelli-Négrel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
83 Downloads (Pure)


Context: Seabirds are important bio-indicators that play an important role in nutrient cycling within coastal communities. Yet, the impact of anthropogenic noises produced from coastal developments across seabird species has received little attention. To create more refined and effective mitigation strategies, a better understanding of how different seabird species and individuals respond to anthropogenic noise is required.

Aims: This study aimed to assess how individual seabirds respond to noises resulting from coastal development (construction noises).

Methods: We investigated the behavioural (vigilance, distress) and physiological (heart rate) responses of little penguins (Eudyptula minor) to experimental playback of construction noises and the potential impacts of construction noises on breeding success.

Key results: Little penguins spent significantly more time in vigilance (but showed no increase in heart rate) during the construction noise playback than they did during the control. Nests exposed to the noise experiment were more likely to produce at least one fledgling compared with those that were not.

Conclusions and implications: Our results support the distracted prey hypothesis, which over long periods may reduce the time individuals spend performing biologically important behaviours and increase predation risk.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)573-585
Number of pages13
JournalMarine and Freshwater Research
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • coastal management
  • declining populations
  • noise pollution
  • Phalacrocorax fuscescens
  • seabirds
  • sensory disturbance
  • stress response
  • Thalasseus bergii


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