All habitats have noise, but anthropogenic sounds often differ from natural sounds in terms of frequency, duration and intensity, and therefore may disrupt animal vocal communication. This study aimed to investigate whether vocalizations emitted by black-tufted marmosets (Callithrix penicillata) were affected by the noise produced by mining activity. Through passive acoustic monitoring, we compared the noise levels and acoustic parameters of the contact calls of marmosets living in two study areas (with two sampling points within each area)—one near and one far from an opencast mine in Brazil. The near area had higher anthropogenic background noise levels and the marmosets showed greater calling activity compared to the far area. Calls in the near area had significantly lower minimum, maximum and peak frequencies and higher average power density and bandwidth than those in the far area. Our results indicate that the mining noise affected marmoset vocal communication and may be causing the animals to adjust their acoustic communication patterns to increase the efficiency of signal propagation. Given that vocalizations are an important part of social interactions in this species, concerns arise about the potential negative impact of mining noise on marmosets exposed to this human activity.
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