Birds of Indian Subcontinent

Effects of Extremely Low Frequency Electromagnetic Field on Breeding and Migrating Birds

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:1993
Authors:Hanowski, JM, Blake, JG, Niemi, GJ, Collins, PT
Journal:American Midland Naturalist
Date Published:1993
ISBN Number:00030031
Keywords:Bonasa, Bonasa umbellus, Phasianidae, Philomachus, Philomachus pugnax, Scolopacidae, Sitta, Sitta carolinensis, Sitta europaea, Sittidae
Abstract:We conducted this study to determine if electromagnetic (EM) fields produced by an extremely low frequency (ELF) antenna system affected either the abundance or richness of breeding and migrating bird species. We counted birds on 80-500 m transects, 40 in reference areas and 40 in treatment areas adjacent to an ELF antenna system in northern Wisconsin. Counts were done three times during the breeding season and twice during autumn migration from 1986 to 1989 We used repeated measures ANOVA (multivariate test) to determine if species abundances were different between reference and treatment study areas. Although overall abundance and numbers of species varied annually (univariate test), no treatment effects were detected for bird community parameters. Fifteen of 75 breeding bird species tested indicated significant differences between reference and treatment study areas; 10 were more abundant in treatment areas. Six of 10 species more abundant in treatment areas were species that occur along edges. Eight of 51 species showed significant treatment effects in the migration season; six were more abundant in reference study areas. Two species, the ruffed grouse (Bonasa umbellus) and white-breasted nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis) were more abundant in reference study areas in both the breeding and migration seasons. Overall, most differences detected between treatment and reference study areas could be attributed to differences in habitat (or presence of edge). It is unlikely that differences could be attributed to ELF EM fields.
Short Title:American Midland Naturalist
Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith