How Human Voices Affect Wild Animals

Humans are super-predators—even when we’re not actively behaving as such. A recent study conducted in an English forest documented the reactions beavers had to the sound of wolves, bears and humans. While they ignored the wolf sounds and were “mildly concerned” by the sound of a bear, the beavers were “profoundly disturbed” by the sound of human speech. A different study played human speech in proximity to a lion’s kill—the lion fled more than 80% of the time. Other predators, like bobcats, mountain lions and opossums also behaved differently when they believed humans could be around the corner. “The implication is that we don’t need to cut down the forest to have an impact on wildlife,” Justin Suraci, a researcher in the field, tells The Atlantic. These studies serve as pertinent reminders of the affects we have on the species around us—and to be mindful of it. Read more at The Atlantic.