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Workshop “Advancing noise impact assessments for birds” by the University of Salford




The University of Salford organised the 2nd International Workshop on noise impact assessment on wildlife, entitled "Advancing noise impact assessments for birds" on the 13th of October 2023. The workshop was an initiative from The University of Salford, RefMAP 's partner, who leads the research on the impacts of drone noise on birds, addressing a core topic in our project.

The organisers of the workshop were Dr. Margret Engel and Professor Mike Wood.


The University of Salford has been working at the forefront of applied research on the impacts of anthropogenic noise on wildlife. Noise pollution is recognised as a major anthropogenic pollutant, with various previous studies demonstrating changes in animal behaviour (e.g. changes in migration patterns, predator and prey detection, and intra-species communication). However, noise pollution legislation is focused on humans alone; despite policy aspirations, there is no systematic approach to assessing, regulating, or mitigating noise impacts on wildlife.


To facilitate the development of approaches to better manage and mitigate the impacts of noise pollution on wildlife, the University of Salford has developed an international network of stakeholders (including those from research, industry, and government organisations) to share knowledge and identify key strategic research priorities. The network, international workshops, and associated research activities are of direct relevance to the RefMap project, in which the University of Salford is leading research on the impacts of drone noise on birds.


It is anticipated that future workshops (likely 1, or 2 per year) will explore noise impacts on other wildlife groups and also act as a focal point for sharing research updates from the RefMap and other projects.


The agenda of the workshop included the following topics:


· Gap analysis work from the 1st Habitats Workshop (David Waddington - University of Salford)

· Funded projects from the University of Salford (REFMAP, PLAN-B) (Mike Wood - University of Salford)

· Impacts of anthropogenic sounds on bird call activities: a case study in Aachen, Germany (Margret Engel - University of Salford)

· The impact of human-created noise on bird diversity: Considerations for wildlife management (Vinicius Goulart / Camila Palhares Teixeira - UEMG, Brazil)

· What are consultancies and industries doing about anthropogenic noise impact assessment on birds? – Biodiversity Net Gain (Lewis Deacon - AECOM)

· What do we know about noise impacts on birds?

· A systematic review focusing on acoustic methodology (Margret Engel/Mike Wood - University of Salford)

· Structure and dynamics of animal choruses in tropical environments: insights from network analysis (Marina Duarte - University of Salford)


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