#NatureForAll: The sounds of nature

We know that connecting with nature offers many health benefits, from releasing stress to improved mental and physical health. But more and more, we are realizing that simply listening to the sounds of nature can also have similar benefits. 

Red-throated Loon ssc

There’s something enchanting, liberating and calming about listening to the sounds of nature. For me personally, just hearing the longing cry of a loon, alone on a lake, sends chills down my spine.

There’s also a growing realization that recording nature’s sounds is an important component of nature conservation. It’s a way for scientists, conservationists and biologists to track how ecosystems change. By recording sounds in protected areas, and making them available to everyone, part of the aim is to increase awareness and promote conservation to broader audiences. It’s also a way to ensure nature and public lands are accessible to more people.

In a growing urban global community, and one still dealing with the effects of COVID-19 and the physical distancing and isolation it has engendered, getting out into parks and nature is challenging for many. One way to stay connected can be by listening to nature sounds.

The IUCN’s World Commission on Protected Areas celebrates its 60th anniversary this year, and with World Listening Day on July 18, it’s an opportunity to highlight some of the amazing work scientists and conservationists around the world are doing to protect and conserve nature by exploring our environment through sounds.

So if you can’t get out into nature and feel soothed by the sounds right now, check out the following links and explore the many sounds of nature.

  • Visit Discovery Park Center for Global Soundscape, whose mission is to support discovery, learning and engagement activities that lead to the preservation of Earth’s natural acoustic heritage.

  • Join researchers involved in one of the newest scientific disciplines - Soundscape Ecology - as they map the sounds of our planet with more than 6,000 recordings at Record the Earth

  • Head to Nature Sound Map for an interactive way of exploring the natural sounds of our planet. This project combines high-quality field recordings with the latest satellite imagery to bring together some of nature’s most beautiful, interesting and inspiring sounds. 

  • Explore the world’s oldest primary equatorial rainforests  through Fragments of Extinction, is collecting three-dimensional sound portraits in order to study, understand, experience and hopefully conserve and protect them.

  • Immerse yourself in the sounds of springs at one of Canada’s national parks.

  • Explore the sounds scientists at the U.S. National Park Service record and analyze to inform and improve management of national parks across the country.

  • Learn about birds from around the world through their unique sounds thanks to EBird.

By Yose Cormier, #NatureForAll 

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