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Utah Travel Headlines

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Listen to Sounds of the Wild, Courtesy of the University of Utah

An archive of bird and animal sounds is now available online, as a service of the JW Marriott Library at the University of Utah.

Called the Western Soundscape Archive, the database features audio recordings of thousands of animals and environments throughout the Western United States.

The project was launched in November, 2007. It continues to grow and currently includes representative sounds of approximately 80% of the West's bird species, 90% of the region’s frog and toad species, and numerous mammals and reptiles.

See the archive website for more info, or to listen to the sounds.

Here is an article that gives more background on the project. Below are excerpts.

From your desktop, you can travel to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to hear the calls of an arctic fox, or follow a biologist into an abandoned mine to record bats. The unique natural environments of the west are available through sounds and stories.

Through freely available streaming audio files and downloadable podcasts, scientists, scholars, educators, students and nature enthusiasts will be able to identify animals and hear ambient recordings of natural environments throughout the eleven contiguous western United States and parts of Alaska.

"Our premise is that the sounds of the west are unique and that they deserve a closer listen," says research librarian Jeff Rice. "As our lives become more urbanized, we are losing our connection to the natural world and its rich sounds. There are whole generations of kids growing up that have never heard coyotes, or even frogs, in the wild. This is our heritage and we want to help restore some of that connection."

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