Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 25, Issue 20, pp 19338–19345 | Cite as

The possible effects of anthropogenic acoustic pollution on marine mammals’ reproduction: an emerging threat to animal extinction

  • Ghulam Nabi
  • Richard William McLaughlin
  • Yujiang HaoEmail author
  • Kexiong Wang
  • Xianyuan Zeng
  • Suliman Khan
  • Ding WangEmail author
Review Article


For about 119 species of cetaceans and other aquatic animals, sound is the key source of learning about the environment, navigation, communication, foraging, and avoiding predators. However, in the recent era, the introduction of large quantities of anthropogenic noise into the ocean has significantly altered the ocean’s acoustic environment. The anthropogenic noises travel very long distances, blanketing enormous areas. This can affect cetaceans, either by direct killing or compromising hearing, navigation, communication, predation, as well as normal behaviors. It has been suggested that acoustic pollution could possibly negatively affect cetacean reproduction, which is harmful for endangered and threatened species. However, it is still unknown how acoustic pollution can suppress cetacean reproduction. This is the first comprehensive review article, which focuses on the possible consequences affecting the reproduction of marine mammals resulting from acoustic pollution.


Anthropogenic Cetacean Navigation Noise Ocean Reproduction 


Compliance with ethical standards

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ghulam Nabi
    • 1
    • 2
  • Richard William McLaughlin
    • 3
  • Yujiang Hao
    • 1
    Email author
  • Kexiong Wang
    • 1
  • Xianyuan Zeng
    • 1
    • 2
  • Suliman Khan
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ding Wang
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Institute of Hydrobiology, the Chinese Academy of SciencesWuhanChina
  2. 2.University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  3. 3.General Studies, Gateway Technical CollegeKenoshaUSA

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