Anthropogenic radiofrequency electromagnetic fields as an emerging threat to wildlife orientation

Sci Total Environ. 2015 Jun 15;518-519:58-60. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2015.02.077. Epub 2015 Mar 4.


The rate of scientific activity regarding the effects of anthropogenic electromagnetic radiation in the radiofrequency (RF) range on animals and plants has been small despite the fact that this topic is relevant to the fields of experimental biology, ecology and conservation due to its remarkable expansion over the past 20 years. Current evidence indicates that exposure at levels that are found in the environment (in urban areas and near base stations) may particularly alter the receptor organs to orient in the magnetic field of the earth. These results could have important implications for migratory birds and insects, especially in urban areas, but could also apply to birds and insects in natural and protected areas where there are powerful base station emitters of radiofrequencies. Therefore, more research on the effects of electromagnetic radiation in nature is needed to investigate this emerging threat.

Keywords: Ecological effect; Electromagnetic field exposure; Environmental pollution; Magnetic compass; Nonthermal effects; Orientation.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Electromagnetic Fields*
  • Environment
  • Environmental Monitoring*
  • Radio Waves*