Source: Wyoming News 

Mark Ditmer, a U.S. Forest Service research ecologist, conducted an experiment in the Bridger-Teton National Forest using a custom-made boombox to study wildlife responses to human recreation sounds. Published in “Current Biology,” the study found that animals are 4.7 times more likely to flee from human recreation sounds than natural noises, showing increased vigilance and reduced presence in areas with these sounds.

The research indicated that elk were particularly sensitive, whereas cougars were mostly unfazed. The study highlights the significant impact of recreation on wildlife behavior, challenging the notion that such activities are low-impact. Future research aims to explore how habituated animals react to consistent human presence. The findings are part of broader efforts to understand and manage the impact of human recreation on wildlife in national forests.

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