Often overlooked, noise pollution is an issue that continues to grow in severity as more people get out there to enjoy the natural world. While bringing a portable speaker on a hike might seem innocent, it can have a huge impact. Imagine you're a mouse in the woods, spending most of your days hiding from predators by using your great hearing as a key tool for survival. Fifty years ago, you might have heard a hawk diving toward your position while the hawk was 100 feet above you. However, as ambient noise from planes, cars and people increases, you might only hear the diving hawk when it's 15 above your head. That means your reaction time will have to be that much better if you want to survive. As a result of more noise, prey populations can be decimated in certain areas, allowing a predator population to temporarily boom before they run out of food, thus forcing the predators to eat something else, move to a new area or die. If the predator population is unable to quickly adapt, the latter seems most likely.