Generally, people demonstrate a strong awareness of the noise effects which interfere with the human habitat; consequently there are new public laws and regulations to control emissions of noise in these environments. However, there is an inadequate attention towards human-induced noise pollution that damage animal habitats in wildlife reserves and it is one of many factors contributing to the depletion of wildlife populations. The aim of this applied research is to evaluate both the acoustical climate in the ‘Natural Reserve of Pergusa’ and the negative effects on the habitat of wildlife populations due to the noise emissions coming from Pergusa Auto-drome that lies on the boundaries of the Pergusa Lake.The research has been developed through the following phases: • Campaign of acoustical measurements for the characterization of ambient noise climate in the Reserve Area both during car race event and without car race event; •Analysis and data processing of acoustical measurements; •Adoption of an acoustical simulation model to calculate the noise levels predicted during motor race; •Analysis and comparison of simulated noise levels and measured noise levels; • Drawing of isophone curves in GIS environment to visualize the zones exposed to high levels of noise. On the bases of the results obtained, the paper shows that the noise level measured or predicted inside the Reserve Area could cause strong and negative interferences with the habitat of wildlife population.
acoustical climate, animal habitats, noise pollution, wildlife reserve
 Komenda-Zehnder, S., cevallos, M. & Bruderer, B., Effects of disturbance by aircraft overflight on waterbirds. Proceedings of the 26th International Bird Strike Committee Meeting, Warsaw, 5–9 May 2003.
 Bowles, a.E., responses of wildlife to noise. Wildlife and Recreationists: Coexistence through Management and Research, eds r.L. knight & k.J. gutzwiller, Island Press: Washington Dc, pp. 109–156, 1995.
 Blanc, r., guillemain, M., Mouronval, J.-B., Desmont, D. & fritz, h., Effects of non-consumptive leisure disturbance to wildlife. Revue D’Ecologie, 61(2), pp. 117–134, 2006.
 Dooling, r.J., auditory perception in birds. Acoustic Communication in Birds, Vol. 1, academic Press: New York, pp. 95–129, 1982.
 Brackenbury, J.h., Power capabilities of the avian-producing system. Journal of Experimental Biology, 78, pp. 163–166, 1979.
 cho, D.S., Mun, S., Study to analyze the effects of vehicles and pavement surface types on noise. Applied Acoustics, 69, pp. 1120–1128, 2008. doi:10.1016/j.apacoust.2007.06.004
 Marten, k. & Marler, P., Sound transmission and its significance for animal vocalization. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, 2, pp. 271–290, 1977. doi:10.1007/Bf00299740
 reijnen, M.J.S.M., Thissen, J.B.M. & Bekker, g.J., Effects of road traffic on woodland breeding bird populations. Acta Ecologia/Ecologia Generalis, 8, pp. 312–313, 1987.
 harmonoise Work Package 2. reference model, har29Tr-041118-TNO10.doc; December 2004.
 ISO 9613-1. acoustics – attenuation of sound during propagation outdoors – Part 1: calculation of the absorption of sound by the atmosphere; 1993.
 kurze, U.J. & anderson, g.S., Sound attenuation by barriers. Applied Acoustics, 4, pp. 35–53, 1971. doi:10.1016/0003-682X(71)90024-7
 Baistrocchi, c., rocco, L., a calculation Model of height and Length of Traffic Noise Barriers. Internoise 2001 – 2001.
 cho, D.-S., kim, J.-h., choi, T.-M., kim, B.-h. & Manvel, D., highway traffic noise prediction using method fully compliant with ISO 9613: comparison with measurements. Applied Acoustics, 65, pp. 883–892, 2004. doi:10.1016/j.apacoust.2004.03.004
 king, E.a. & rice, h.J., The development of a practical framework for strategic noise mapping. Applied Acoustics, 70, pp. 1116–1127, 2009. doi:10.1016/j.apacoust.2009.01.005
 ISO 9613-2. acoustics – attenuation of sound during propagation outdoors – Part 2: general method of calculation; 1996.
 king, E.a. & rice, h.J., The development of a practical framework for strategic noise mapping.
Applied Acoustics, 70, pp. 1116–1127, 2009. doi:10.1016/j.apacoust.2009.01.005