Underwater noises damage turtles’ ability to hear

Underwater noise pollution can damage turtles’ hearing enough to last for hours or even days, according to researchers at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Falmouth, Massachusetts.

What there is to know:

  • Underwater noise pollution caused by activities such as shipping and construction in fresh and salt water environments may cause hearing loss in turtles which can last from a few minutes to several days.

  • Previous studies have revealed that a wide range of animalsfrom squid to fish to whales, are vulnerable to underwater hearing loss after exposure to loud noise.

  • Even low-level noise can impact a turtle’s hearing.

  • Hearing loss regardless of duration threatens a turtle’s ability to communicate as well as their ability to hear and avoid predators and other dangers.

  • More than half of turtles and tortoise species are already threatened by changes in their environment and new discoveries may have consequences for the survival of certain endangered turtle species.

This is a summary of the article “Underwater noise causes hearing loss in turtles”, published by the American Geophysical Union on March 2, 2022. The full article is available at phys.org.

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