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All organisms use verbal communication to gain information about their surroundings, in order to hunt, feed their chicks, and call or warn one another. This communication is increasingly masked by anthropogenic noise pollution. Recently, there has been a rise into the research of organisms that use ultrasound, but virtually none into anthropogenic ultrasound and whether or not it has the possibility to mask ultrasonic vocalizations. As such, my study hopes to fill in this gap of knowledge by doing an exploratory study in a city, Hartford, CT, to identify sources of man-made ultrasound, as well as their frequency ranges. These ranges were then compared against ultrasonic vocalizations of mice, Richardson’s ground squirrels, and tomato plants. My study found that the more narrow a biological frequency range is, the more at risk it is to be fully masked. This implicates ultrasound as potential new source of noise pollution, that should be mitigated as part of conservation efforts to preserve the environment.
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Ahearn, Cillian Grace, "Ultrasonic Pollution: a New Kind of Noise Pollution" (2021). Senior Projects Spring 2021. 23.
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