Posted by: Dr. Breffni Lennon | June 23, 2012

An environment may look healthy, but does it sound healthy?

Alastair Leithead (BBC News, Los Angeles) discusses Bernie Krause’s contribution to our understanding of humanity’s impact on the natural world. Citing Krause’s contention that we are essentially visual creatures that take our queues from what we see to be correct, Leithead poses the question: “A landscape may look healthy, but how does it sound, and what does that say about how its wildlife is doing?” Biophonies or soundscapes can often tell us more about the real health of a landscape than the visual queues we take for granted. For example, sound recordings taken before and after logging had occurred in an area in Northern California (and this was selective logging not the usual denuding of the landscape that usually happens) told two very different stories as the effects even this progressive logging technique had on the wildlife in the area.

Alastair Leithhead’s article (along with the biophonies featured in the above example) can be read/heard here.


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