We recently conducted a study investigating potential effects of the annual Formula 1 Grand Prix motorsport event held at Albert Park on the black swan population. By comparing population numbers, behaviours and stress levels in black swans before, during and after the event, we found that although the birds do not leave the park or show obvious evidence of changes in behaviour, their stress levels are elevated during the event. This is of potential concern because similar stress differences in bird populations elsewhere are associated with reduced lifespan or breeding success. See here for a report on this study in The Age.
PAYNE, C.J., JESSOP, T.S., GUAY, P-J., JOHNSTONE, M., FEORE, M. & MULDER, R.A., (2012). Population, Behavioural and Physiological Responses of an Urban Population of Black Swans to an Intense Annual Noise Event. PLoS ONE 7(9): e45014. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0045014
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