Soundscape Ecology : A Web Resource List
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Sounds in Nature and Soundscape Ecology – A Resource List

 

This collection of resources focuses on sounds in Nature and soundscape ecology.  Soundscape ecology is an important growing field of research and conservation practice that uses sound to track how ecosystems change over time. Just like we humans have a need to communicate with each other, animal and bird sounds are the communicating systems by which connectivity between creatures is achieved in Nature. These communications are vital to mating, territory establishment and protection, capturing food, individual and group defense, play, and social contact. Human noise can break these important connections and adversely affect Nature’s ecosystems.

 Here are three blog posts that I have written on the subject of Nature’s soundscapes and the damage that can be caused by humans with their noise:

Nature’s Symphony http://www.freshvista.com/2012/patterns-in-naturenatures-symphony/

The Conservation of Quiet http://www.freshvista.com/2012/patterns-in-naturethe-conservation-of-quiet/

RV Generator Noise Breaks Connections In Nature http://www.freshvista.com/2013/rv-generator-noise-breaks-connections-in-nature/

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http://www.ecology.com/2012/08/24/soundscape-ecology/

What is soundscape ecology?

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Noise pollution alters ecological services

http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/early/2012/03/15/rspb.2012.0230

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A Not So Silent Spring

https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2017/05/a-not-so-silent-spring/525417/

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Blackbirds in Europe are mimicking car alarms, ambulance sirens, and cell phones at jarringly life-like volumes. And they aren’t the only wildlife switching frequencies in order to be heard over the human din. From Conservation Magazine.

http://www.conservationmagazine.org/2009/01/not-so-silent-spring/

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The Voice Of The Natural World. Bernie Kraus is a well known early pioneer in the field of Nature,s sounds and soundscape ecology. By his own count, Bernie has recorded the sounds of more than 15,000 animal species and recorded more than 4,500 hours of their natural ambience. Here is a TED talk by Bernie

https://www.ted.com/talks/bernie_krause_the_voice_of_the_natural_world

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Here is another informative article about Bernie Krause and the science of soundscape ecology.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2012/sep/03/bernie-krause-natural-world-recordings

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Bernie Kraus’s web site

http://www.wildsanctuary.com/

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Another well know soundscape ecologist is Gordon Hempton. He says:

“Good things come from a quiet place: study, prayer, music, transformation, worship, communion. The words ‘peace’ and ‘quiet’ are all but synonymous, and are often spoken in the same breath. A quiet place is the think tank of the soul, the spawning ground of truth and beauty.

A quiet place outdoors has no physical borders or limits to perception. One can commonly hear for miles and listen even farther. A quiet place affords a sanctuary for the soul, where the difference between right and wrong becomes more readily apparent. It is a place to feel the love that connects all things, large and small, human and not; a place where presence of a tree can be heard. A quiet place is a place to open up all your senses and come alive.”

https://www.guernicamag.com/learning-to-listen/

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Listening to song dogs. Why humans need to respect and conserve quiet in Nature.

http://northernwoodlands.org/editors_blog/article/song-dogs

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Human Racket Affects Plants, Too – From Live Science

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Noise Pollution Threatens Earth’s Ecosystem

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This study show that noise pollution drives birds out of their homes

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From NBC News: noise has the potential to trigger cascading effects that could alter the structure of  ecosystems

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Noise In Nature from Texas Magazine

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Human Noise Drives Wildlife Batty from the Corvalis Advocate

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Humans are too noisy for nature from the Aspen Times

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Manmade Noise Has Impact on Natural Habitat from ABC News

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The US National Park Service has a soundscape inventory and monitoring program at Denali National Park in Alaska.  The sound-level data are used to compare the levels of human-made sounds to the natural ambient levels.

https://www.nps.gov/articles/denali-crp-soundscapes.htm

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An article by the US National Park Service on human sounds at national parks. http://www.npr.org/2016/06/29/483241647/beyond-sightseeing-youll-love-the-sound-of-americas-best-parks

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US National Park Service web site on the effects of human noise in Nature.

http://www.nature.nps.gov/sound/

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Noise vs. Nature: How We’re Upsetting America’s Soundscapes

http://www.nbcnews.com/science/environment/noise-vs-nature-how-were-upsetting-americas-soundscapes-n307216

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Acoustic ecology and ethical listening.

http://www.humansandnature.org/acoustic-ecology-ethical-listening

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From Scripps Institute of Oceanography – Behavioral Acoustic Ecology Lab

“A broad range of invertebrates and vertebrates use sound for communication and sensing of their environment. Each ecosystem contains a unique symphony of sounds, a soundscape, that informs us about its species composition, possibly abundance, and together with information about the physical environment leads to the characterization of the ecology and behavior of the species producing and interpreting sound. Acoustics can be used to investigate how the individual’s behavior may be shaping the ecology of the community or how individuals and populations may be reacting to a changing environment.”

http://baumann.ucsd.edu/

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Sounds in Nature are actually connections on Nature because sound is a way for wildlife to communicate with each other. This PBS NOVA video [  ] talks about the growing field soundscape ecology which is a growing field of research that uses sound to track how ecosystems change over time. Bryan Pijanowski and Matt Harris work with a team of researchers to collect hours of sound at locations from the Alaskan tundra to a rainforest in Borneo. By analyzing the recordings they can reveal changes in each ecosystem that we might not otherwise be able to see.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/earth/soundscape-ecology.html

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Another interesting article on soundscape ecology entitled: “When Birds Squawk, Other Species Seem to Listen”  http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/19/science/decoding-the-cacophony-of-birds-warning-calls.html?emc=eta1&_r=0

 

Why Do I Write These Essays?

Nothing in Nature exists in isolation. The movement of life’s energy, which originates in the sun, takes place because everything is interconnected and interdependent. Your consciousness of interdependence in Nature means that, every time you engage Nature, you ask yourself how a creature, a plant, yourself, or a natural object is connected to another and to Nature’s greater scheme of things. With this awareness you are prepared to protect Nature’s environment that sustains you. And, you create your legacy by encouraging others to do likewise.

 

If, after reading my essays, you find yourself embracing these ideas, I am thrilled in knowing that I’ve played some small part in setting this world view in motion in your mind.

 

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My name is Bill Graham. As a Marine Biologist who has worked in the US and Mexico for 30 years, I am a student of Nature, a teacher, a researcher, and a nature photographer. Through my work, I have acquired an ever growing passion for how everything in Nature is connected. Today, I travel extensively contemplating about, writing about, and photographing Nature’s connections. I also work with conservation projects in the USA and Mexico and mentor talented youth.

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