While most of the world was shut down due to pandemic restrictions in late 2020, it was business as usual in Tulum, a city that openly embraced the presence of parties and music events.
Now, at least one wildlife expert is sounding the alarm on damage being done to the local ecosystem. Dr. Yann Hénaut, the head of the Biodiversity Conservation department at El Colegio de la Frontera Sur, has concluded that noise pollution occurring in the Quintana Roo jungles is altering behavioral patterns of wildlife species.
“The fact of generating noise in natural areas causes a serious impact, although we cannot know it, animal species such as birds, monkeys and other mammals feel their territory invaded and migrate to other places," Hénaut told The Yucatan Times. "These are things that we do not perceive but that are happening, and it is something very unfortunate, because we affect the environment."
Experts believe the native species—not acclimated to the presence of humans in close proximity—are leaving their natural habitats, leading in many cases to death.
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The noise pollution caused by the surge in ecotourism is also causing distress amongst the local fauna, added adventure sports promoter Rodolfo Sánchez, who bemoaned visitors for "disrupting nature" and urged them to "show some respect."