Response of Fall-Staging Brant and Canada Geese to Aircraft Overflights in Southwestern Alaska
- D. H. Ward, R. A. Stehn, W. P. Erickson, D. V. Derksen.
- Journal of Wildlife Management 63(1):373-381.
The review of the noise effects literature shows that the most documented reaction of animals newly or infrequently exposed to low-altitude aircraft and sonic booms is the “startle effect.” Although an observer’s interpretation of the startle effect is behavioral (e.g., the animal runs in response to the sound or flinches and remains in place), it does have a physiological basis. The startle effect is a reflex; it is an autonomic reaction to loud, sudden noise (Westman and Walters 1981, Harrington and Veitch 1991). Increased heart rate and muscle flexion are the typical physiological responses.