Wildlife experts have warned that noise pollution is killing wildlife in the jungles of Quintana Roo, Mexico, citing ecotourism, sporting events, and the region’s abundance of electronic music parties and festivals, largely centred on Tulum, as the main causes.
Dr. Yann Hénaut, head of the Biodiversity Conservation department at El Colegio de la Frontera Sur (Ecosur), Chetumal Unit, explained that the high levels of sound from events in the area are directly impacting birds and mammals. Some species have been forced to relocate as a result.
“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. These are things that we do not perceive but that are happening, and it is something very unfortunate, because we affect the environment,” he told The Yucutan Times.
Adventure sports promoter Rodolfo Sánches has also criticised visitors for “disrupting nature” and called on tourists to show “respect” to the area.
“Everything was going very well on the trails until the MTB [mountain bike] groups with their horns and 70 bicycles started disrupting nature, the fauna does not want to listen to their music, these people need to show some respect”, he said in a social media post.
Tulum has continued to host parties and festivals throughout the pandemic. Last December, a “Burning Man-style” event was linked to a surge in COVID-19 cases in the New York area after attendees returned home. In 2019, the city council announced it was introducing new regulations to curb the number of raves and dance music events the area was attracting, and instead emphasise the luxury and environmental sides of the local tourism industry.