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World and Press March 2 2023

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12 Science

12 Science March 2 2023 | World and Press Dolphins ‘shout’ to compensate for human-made background noise SCIENCE Research adds to concerns about the impact of human noise pollution on marine life. By Hannah Devlin 1 WE HAVEall experienced the frustration of trying to hold a conversation in a loud pub or restaurant. Now researchers have shown that dolphins may face a similar scenario, showing that they “shout” to each other when faced with background noise. The findings revealed that a noisy environment makes it harder for dolphins to communicate and cooperate on tasks, adding to concern about the impact of human noise pollution on marine life. 2 “In a very noisy pub, we find ourselves increasing the volume of our voice,” said Pernille Sørensen, a graduate student at the University of Bristol and first author of the research, published in the journal ‘Current Biology’. “Dolphins respond in a similar way – they’re trying to compen- sate, but there are some miscommunications.” 3 Dolphins are social, intelligent animals, relying on clicks and whistles to communicate and using echolocation to hunt and navigate. So noise generated from human activity such as drilling and shipping has a potentially harmful impact on the health of marine populations. 4 The latest study involved a pair of dolphins, Delta and Reese, and looked at how their ability to cooperate was affected by background noise. The dolphins were required to work together to both press their own underwater button placed at either end of a lagoon within one second of each other – a task that some humans would struggle to coordinate. They were released from a starting point during each trial, and in some trials, one of the dolphins was held back for five to ten seconds. This meant that the dolphins had to rely solely on vocal communication to coordinate the button press. 5 When increasing levels of noise were played from an underwater speaker, both dolphins compensated by changing the volume and length of their calls to coordinate the button press. Nevertheless, they could not entirely compensate. From the lowest to highest levels of noise, the dolphins’ success rate dropped from 85% to 62.5%, according to the research. 6 The dolphins also changed their body language, reorienting themselves to face each other more frequently at higher noise levels and swimming across the lagoon to be closer to each other. The highest noise levels were comparable with what are sometimes experienced in marine environments as a result of shipping and drilling. 7 “Despite their attempts to compensate, despite being highly motivated, and the fact that they know this cooperative task so well, the noise still impaired their ability to successfully coordinate,” said Sørensen. | Photo: Ranae Smith/Unsplash 8 Sound travels 4.5 times faster through water than through air, meaning many marine organisms have evolved to rely on sounds to provide important cues to navigate, forage for food, avoid predators, and enable communication. Invertebrates and fish hear sounds at low frequency, while cetaceans (dolphins and whales) can hear very high frequencies, up to 200 Hz, and also use active sonar to detect objects, including prey. Humpback whales, singing at a low frequency, can be heard up to 16,000 kilometres away. 9 But during recent decades, the underwater soundscape has radically changed from one that featured mostly natural sounds to one in which some regions are dominated by human noise pollution from shipping traffic, seismic exploration, oil drilling, and offshore windfarms. The increase in background noise has been linked to strandings, decompression sickness, and behavioural changes. “Those same reasons that make sound so advantageous for animals to use also make them susceptible to disturbance from noise in the environment,” said Sørensen. … © 2023 Guardian News and Media Ltd 0 – 3 NOISE POLLUTIONLärmverschmutzung — marine life Meereslebewesen — graduate student Student(in) im Aufbaustudium — journal Fachzeitschrift — miscommunication Fehlkommunikation — echolocation Echoortung — to navigate s. orientieren — drilling Bohrung(en) — shipping Schifffahrt 4 – 7 trial Versuch — solely ausschließlich — vocal stimmlich Continued from page 1 — to reorient o.s. s. anders positionieren — comparable with vergleichbar mit — to impair beeinträchtigen 8 to evolve s. entwickeln — cue Hinweis — to forage for food nach Nahrung suchen — predator Fressfeind — invertebrates Wirbellose — cetacean Wal — sonar Biosonar — to detect aufspüren — prey Beute — humpback whale Buckelwal 9 soundscape Klanglandschaft — seismic exploration seismische Untersuchung (zur Ortung von Ölvorkommen etc.) — decompression sickness Dekompressionskrankheit — susceptible to anfällig für — disturbance Störung 5 Ukraine’s physical survival, despite significant losses of territory, has been matched by psychological triumph. For this, much credit goes to its president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, who has campaigned tirelessly to whip up international support. The countries of Europe, and the EU as an institution, have rallied round in an unexpected, gratifying display of solidarity. Gifts of weapons, cash aid, technology, expertise, and shelter have poured in, along with volunteers, military and civilian. In contrast, morale among Russia’s army and public has slumped as promises of a quick victory were replaced by the prospect of a long struggle. Their disillusion was rendered more bitter by Putin’s blunders and lies, enforced mobilisations, and brutal suppression of anti-war protests. 6 But, and it’s a big “but”, it is plain the war is far from over and may be entering an even more dangerous phase. Russia’s ill-led, ill-equipped, and ill-disciplined forces have regrouped and reinforced. Their anticipated spring offensive along the eastern or southern fronts, or possibly via Belarus, may already be gathering pace, and Moldova is also threatened with destabilisation. It has been clear for some time that Ukrainian forces are on the back foot in key strategic locations. Despite more pledges of sophisticated Western arms, missile systems, and tanks, they are reportedly struggling to hold back the invaders. … 7 Dark clouds hang over this life-or-death struggle as it enters a second year. Western weapons continue to be slow in arriving. There are still no combat planes. Meanwhile, political strains increase. Although President Joe Biden, who will mark the war’s anniversary in Warsaw on Tuesday, has provided the lion’s share of arms and aid to Ukraine, both he and NATO have been too cautious in confronting Russia. Yet right-wing Republicans and some US voters believe Biden has gone too far. France’s ever-flexible president, Emmanuel Macron, who was accused of appeasement a year ago, is now insisting Putin be defeated militarily. But despite fierce East European pressure, Germany’s chancellor, Olaf Scholz, stubbornly insists on treading warily. Most Germans now favour peace talks, even if they entail territorial concessions. 8 The wider debate concerns how this war ends. What, exactly, is the Western democracies’ endgame? There is as yet no agreement. Future scenarios include a Ukrainian victory and/ or 1917-style Russian collapse, total defeat for Ukraine, escalation leading to direct NATO–Russia conflict in Europe, expanding warfare across the country, or a frozen conflict – in effect, a stalemate – similar to the situation after Russia’s 2014 invasion of Crimea and the Donbas. Only the latter outcome could lead, hypothetically, to the negotiated settlement many Western politicians and analysts believe must eventually be attained. 9 Any such future “peace” deal would necessarily involve painful Ukrainian concessions. It would be seen by many, in Kyiv and Europe, as a betrayal, and by Putin as a vindication. That is a dreadful thought. But we are not there yet, and may never be. Right now, both sides are intent on strengthening their positions through military successes. So the war goes on. © 2023 Guardian News and Media Ltd 5 credit goes to him das ist sein Verdienst — tirelessly unermüdlich — to whip up support Unterstützung auftreiben — to rally round s. zus.tun — gratifying erfreulich — expertise Fachwissen — to slump nachlassen — blunder Fehler — enforced mobilisation Zwangsrekrutierung — suppression Unterdrückung 6 ill schlecht — to regroup neu formieren — to reinforce verstärken — to anticipate erwarten — to gather pace Fahrt aufnehmen — Moldova Republik Moldau — on the back foot (fig) in der Defensive — pledge Zusage — tank Panzer — reportedly angeblich — invaders Invasoren 7 combat plane Kampfflugzeug — lion’s share Löwenanteil — right-wing vom rechten Flügel — appeasement Beschwichtigung — chancellor Kanzler(in) — to tread warily vorsichtig vorgehen — to entail zur Folge haben — territorial concessions Gebietsabtretungen (c. Zugeständnisse) 8 – 9 endgame (fig) Ziel — warfare Krieg(führung) — stalemate Patt — negotiated settlement durch Verhandlungen erzielte Beilegung — to attain erlangen — betrayal Verrat — vindication Rechtfertigung — to be intent on doing fest entschlossen sein zu tun

World and Press | March 2 2023 Wildlife 13 Establishing a new home for bison to roam Scott Heidebrink. WILDLIFE A nonprofit is working to restore the shortgrass prairie, where the American icons and their ecosystem can thrive again. Bison on the American Prairie reserve in Montana. | Photos: Louise Johns/The New York Times Scott Heidebrink checks on the herd. By Jim Robbins in Malta, Mont. 1 AROUND 200chocolatebrown bison raise their heads, following the low growl of a pickup truck slowly motoring across the sagebrush-studded prairie. Snorting and quietly bellowing, their feral odors riding the wind, they slowly trot across the prairie hills, eager to maintain distance from the truck. 2 This knot of bison – colloquially referred to as buffalo, though they are not the same species – is part of a project to rebuild a vast shortgrass prairie not only to return large numbers of bison here but also to eventually restore the complex and productive grassland ecosystem the animals once engineered with their churning hooves, waste, grazing, and even carcasses. 3 “When you have large numbers on the landscape, they impact everything,” Scott Heidebrink, director of bison restoration for American Prairie, a nonprofit conservation group, said of the animals. “There are ways that bison were impacting the landscape that we haven’t even thought about.” Since 2001, American Prairie – formerly known as American Prairie Reserve – has been working to create a fully functioning wild prairie, complete with herds of bison thundering across the landscape and playing their historical ecological role. 4 Experts originally thought it would take a decade or so to restore the bison-driven grassland ecosystem that would, in turn, replenish native species, including numerous grassland birds, river otters, prairie dogs, grizzly bears, and wolves – all of which have been eliminated or diminished, largely by farming and livestock grazing. However, land costs, politics, and other complications have pushed that goal well into the future, and reaching it has proved to be difficult. Researchers and experts have since become more realistic, understanding that the original timetable to create such a vast grassland is just not feasible. 5 Between 30 million and 60 million bison once roamed parts of the United States, primarily in the Great Plains. They were a “keystone” species in a complex ecological web, creating a cascade of environmental conditions that benefited countless other species. Intact grasslands are productive for biodiversity. In part because of the loss of bison and other megafauna, intact grassland biomes are among the most endangered in the world, and the numbers of many species that depend on them have collapsed. 6 Agriculture has also taken a huge toll on the prairies. “It’s being plowed up fast and mismanaged for cattle,” said Curt Freese, a wildlife biologist and one of the founders of American Prairie. Nearly a million acres in the eight-county region around the reserve have been converted to cropland in recent years, Freese said. 7 The primary task here now, researchers and managers say, is to increase the number of bison and acres. In 2008, more than two dozen ecologists and experts produced a paper known as the Vermejo Statement, which estimated that to foster a functioning prairie ecosystem, at least 5,000 bison would need to be able to migrate freely on some 450,000 contiguous, fenceless acres. 8 The first 16 bison were brought to American Prairie in 2005, and their numbers have grown to 774. The reserve has set a goal to settle 6,000 bison on 500,000 contiguous acres, Heidebrink said. The hardest part of the task, though, has been building up enough land. 9 Someday, bison on reservations, American Prairie, and nearby wildlife refuges in the United States and Canada, may become one vast herd, roaming across about three million acres. Native American communities in Montana, including the Fort Belknap Reservation and Blackfeet Nation, have herds of their own. A full-blown prairie ecosystem is decades away, and it won’t be cheap: Freese, who is writing a book about the return of wildlife to the plains, estimates it is likely to cost several hundred million dollars. 10 Recent studies have demonstrated some of the important ecological effects that bison have on grasslands. A long-term comparative study of bison and cattle on tallgrass prairie in Kansas showed that over 30 years on the land grazed by bison, the richness of native plant species doubled compared with places where cattle grazed, and the presence of bison made the prairie ecosystem more resilient to drought. 11 Widespread commercial hunting for bison hides, and a strategy to eliminate them to force Native American tribes to submit to life on reservations, had nearly extirpated the animals in the United States by the 1880s – down to a few small herds around the West, including in Yellowstone National Park. Now hundreds of thousands of bison are scattered across the West, but many scientists consider them “ecologically extinct” because they no longer gather in large herds, roam freely across expansive landscapes, or perform their ecological role. 12 Even without those herds, bison act as “ecosystem engineers,” improving not just their own habitats but those of myriad other species, including plants, birds, and insects. This is, in part, because bison graze less intensively across greater distances; tracking collars show they move more than three miles a day, while cattle travel about half as far. … © 2023 The New York Times Company This article originally appeared in The New York Times. Tracking the herd’s movements with the help of an app that receives signals from bison tagged with a GPS locator. 0 – 1 TO ROAM; s.w.u. to migrate wandern — nonprofit gemeinnützige Organisation — shortgrass prairie Kurzgrasprärie — to thrive gedeihen — growl Brummen — to motor fahren — sagebrush-studded mit Wüstenbeifuß bewachsen (to stud übersäen) — to snort schnauben — to bellow brüllen — feral wild — odor Geruch 2 – 3 knot Gruppe — colloquially umgangssprachlich — to refer to as … etw. als … bezeichnen — to churn aufwühlen — waste Exkremente — grazing Weiden — carcass Kadaver — to impact s. auswirken auf — bison restoration h.: Erholung der Bison-Population — conservation group Naturschutzorganisation — reserve Schutzgebiet — to thunder galoppieren 4 – 5 to restore sanieren — to replenish regenerieren — to diminish dezimieren — feasible machbar — a cascade of e-e ganze Reihe von — countless unzählige — biodiversity Artenvielfalt — biome Biom 6 – 7 agriculture Landwirtschaft — to take a toll on etw. schwer belasten — to plow up (AE) umpflügen — to mismanage schlecht handhaben; herunterwirtschaften — founder Gründer(in) — 1 million acres ca. 4047 km 2 — county (AE) Landkreis — cropland Anbaufläche — acres h.: (fig) Fläche — to foster fördern — contiguous zus.hängend — fenceless ohne Zäune 8 – 10 to settle ansiedeln — reservation Reservat — wildlife refuge Wildtierschutzgebiet — long-term comparative study vergleichende Langzeitstudie — tallgrass prairie Langgrasprärie — richness Reichtum — resilient widerstandsfähig — drought Dürre 11 – 12 hide Fell — to extirpate ausrotten — scattered verstreut — extinct ausgestorben — expansive ausgedehnt — myriad unzählige — tracking collar Senderhalsband

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