How does the zoo soundscape affect the zoo experience for animals and visitors?

Bonde de Queiroz, M 2018, How does the zoo soundscape affect the zoo experience for animals and visitors? , PhD thesis, University of Salford.

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This project aims to evaluate the zoo soundscape from the animals and visitors perspective. A complete acoustic environment study in zoological parks should involve these two different, but equally important, characters. This thesis presents the results of the influence of the sound components of the zoo environment in the welfare and behaviour of mammals and in the visitors’ experience.

Firstly, a critical literature review was made concerning the impact of noise on wildlife. Several papers were evaluated regarding some topics such as the target species, the sound source studied, and the methodology applied. The aim was to assess the reliability of the articles and to propose a guideline for future studies in this area. The results of the literature review have shown that only seven per cent of the published papers used suitable equipment and acoustic metrics to investigate the sound effect on wildlife and confirmed the importance of a complete and well-described methodology for studies replicability.

The influence of sound on zoo mammals was explored by direct recordings of animal behaviour and sound measurements, and by the collection of faecal samples for glucocorticoid metabolites analysis in two zoos, Chester Zoo and Twycross Zoo. The results show that animals express some behavioural and hormonal responses to different environmental sound amplitudes. Therefore, zoos could use these findings for a better animal management and enclosures planning.

The zoo soundscape perception by the public was investigated by the application of questionnaires with the soundwalk methodology around Chester Zoo. The objective of this part of the study is to understand how the zoo visitors perceive the environmental sound around the zoo and how different aspects of an area can influence the individual perception of the sound. The results show, among other important variables, that technological sounds can have a negative on the visitors’ perception and evaluation of the soundscape. For this reason, zoos should be more careful about the environmental sound of places with predominant technological sounds.

In conclusion, for the animals, sound levels and the visitors can be a source of stress that causes variations in the expression of behaviour and in physiological stress levels. For the visitors, the influence of sound is caused mostly by the noise sources and less by the sound levels.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Contributors: Davies, WJ (Supervisor) and Young, RJ (Supervisor)
Schools: Schools > School of Computing, Science and Engineering
Depositing User: M.B. Queiroz
Date Deposited: 02 Oct 2018 14:13
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 23:52

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