Vanishing Soundscapes Initiative featured on CNN

Wednesday, May 3rd, 2017

The work of Purdue’s Center for Global Soundscapes, led by Bryan Pijanowski, professor of landscape ecology in the Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, was featured in CNN’s Vanishing series in “Listening for the amphibian apocalypse.” CNN accompanied Pijanowski and a team of researchers to the Costa Rican rainforest, where they recorded the sounds of amphibians in danger of extinction as part of the Center for Global Soundscapes’ Vanishing Soundscapes initiative.

The goal of the initiative is to record and archive sounds from threatened species and habitats throughout the world. So far, Pijanowski has collected more than 1.2 million recordings, totaling about 250,000 hours of sound.

Pijanowski has been visiting the La Selva Biological Research Station in Costa Rica since 2008 and says that a comparison of recordings over time indicates a significant decline in amphibian species in the region, which is noted for its biodiversity. “I’m worried that these would potentially become acoustic fossils,” he says. “In other words, the animals that are in these files are no longer alive. And the only record that we have of some of their presence is an audio recording.”

Photos provided by Matthew Harris.

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