Dublin Port Terns Noise Survey
Dublin Port Company / Natura Consultants
RPS provided acoustic and ecological monitoring support services with Natura Consultants to the Dublin Port Company
The aim of this 2015 study was to determine how pile-driving noise impacts on nesting terns, a protected species in Dublin Port.
The study involved the playback of recordings of pile-driving activities at varying decibel levels and observing the reaction behaviour of the nesting terns. The noises were played from a boat within close proximity of the nesting terns and the team documented the reactions of the birds in real-time, visually from the boat and through cameras set up on the nesting site in addition to continuous noise level measurements. Disturbance behaviours resulting from additional activity, such as boats entering and exiting the port, were also taken into account.
The physical and acoustic records taken from the field studies were then analysed and compared in detail to observe any correlation between the pile-driving noises and the reaction of the terns. The findings of this study will inform the decision-making process for future projects, in relation to noise buffer zones near Natura 2000 sites.