Acoustic monitoring of black-tufted marmosets in a tropical forest disturbed by mining noise

Bittencourt, E, Vasconcellos, A ORCID:, Sousa-Lima, RS ORCID:, Young, RJ ORCID: and Duarte, MHL 2023, 'Acoustic monitoring of black-tufted marmosets in a tropical forest disturbed by mining noise' , Animals, 13 (3) .

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Simple Summary: Communication is one way that animals use to obtain and defend resources, escape predators and attract sexual partners. However, this process can be disrupted by anthropogenic noise, which often differs from natural sounds in frequency, duration and intensity. This study aimed to understand whether, and how, calls emitted by black-tufted marmosets (Callithrix penicillata) are affected by mining noise. We compared ambient noise and the acoustic parameters of the contact calls of these animals in two study areas, one near and one far from the Brucutu Mine, Minas Gerais, Brazil. We found background noise to be higher in the area near the mine, and marmoset vocalizations more frequent, compared to the far area. Calls emitted in the near area also differed in spectral parameters from the far area, which suggests an effort by the animals to adapt their vocal activity to a noisier environment. Our results indicate that mining noise may affect the acoustic communication of black-tufted marmosets. These results may be taken as a starting point for establishing public policies to promote preventive and/or mitigative measures to protect wildlife around sites of mining activity. Moreover, measures to regulate any noisy activities in relation to wild animals are pressing since these are lacking in Brazil. Abstract: All habitats have noise, but anthropogenic sounds often differ from natural sounds in terms of frequency, duration and intensity, and therefore may disrupt animal vocal communication. This study aimed to investigate whether vocalizations emitted by black-tufted marmosets (Callithrix penicillata) were affected by the noise produced by mining activity. Through passive acoustic monitoring, we compared the noise levels and acoustic parameters of the contact calls of marmosets living in two study areas (with two sampling points within each area)—one near and one far from an opencast mine in Brazil. The near area had higher anthropogenic background noise levels and the marmosets showed greater calling activity compared to the far area. Calls in the near area had significantly lower minimum, maximum and peak frequencies and higher average power density and bandwidth than those in the far area. Our results indicate that the mining noise affected marmoset vocal communication and may be causing the animals to adjust their acoustic communication patterns to increase the efficiency of signal propagation. Given that vocalizations are an important part of social interactions in this species, concerns arise about the potential negative impact of mining noise on marmosets exposed to this human activity.

Item Type: Article
Contributors: Pelé, M (Editor) and Sueur, C (Editor)
Schools: Schools > School of Computing, Science and Engineering
Journal or Publication Title: Animals
Publisher: MDPI
ISSN: 2076-2615
Funders: Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq), Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES), Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa de Minas Gerais through project CRA-RDP 00079-10 (FAPEMIG/VALE)
SWORD Depositor: Publications Router
Depositing User: Publications Router
Date Deposited: 21 Feb 2023 10:18
Last Modified: 21 Feb 2023 10:30

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