Skip to Main Content

Global Soundscapes and COVID-19

David Savage
With stay at home orders in place around the world, many cities have gone quiet, or at least are much quieter than normal. What effect does that have on the global environment and what impact does that have on urban wildlife?

The Center for Global Soundscapes is participating in a collaborative study with researchers from around the globe, to determine the impacts of COVID19 quarantine on urban and peri-urban soundscapes.

“We have all heard—or rather, not heard—planes taking off and landing, and decreases in traffic noise as people shelter in place and minimize their activity outside the home,” graduate research assistant David Savage said. “We are using audio recorders to track the impacts on both people and wildlife and will continue to do so as the quarantine continues and as, hopefully, things return to normal.”An acoustic monitoring device

The project is being led by a group of researchers from several European universities - Avignon University, Tolouse 2 University, IMT Atlantique, and the University of Bristol - but there are currently roughly 70 participants from all over the world, including the United States, Europe, and Latin America primarily.

The group hopes to be able to track the patterns of human activity as industrial and commercial activity has decreased during the quarantine, and then detect changes as activity ramps back up. They also hope to be able to monitor the responses of urban wildlife--or at least, urban wildlife that makes sounds--to reductions in human activity, improvements in air quality, etc.

The broader goal of the project is to develop a global dataset in a systematic way that can be easily Kristen Bellisariointegrated with other data from a variety of sources for a diverse set of researchers to tackle a broad set of questions.

To fulfill their part of the project, Savage and post doctoral research associate Kristen Bellisario placed Wildlife Acoustics Song Meter 4 acoustic sensors in local woodland areas.

Featured Stories

Seedlings on Week 1 of Kadian's internship; seedlings on Week 9 of her internship; Kadian with a frog found in the greenhouse. Frogs are beneficial in the greenhouse because they eat fungus gnats, which can damage roots of seedlings.
FNR Field Report: Kadian Brown

Kadian Brown, a senior forestry major with a forest management concentration, worked as a forest...

Read More
Andrew Tucker takes a break in front of a tree with Don Carlson and Zane Smoldt
FNR Field Report: Andrew Tucker

Andrew Tucker, a junior forestry major with a concentration in sustainable biomaterials and a...

Read More
Mikaela Agresta spraying invasive species with a UTV sprayer.
FNR Field Report: Mikaela Agresta

Mikaela Agresta, who completed her degree in forestry with a minor in wildlife science in May...

Read More
The 2023 FNR Awards recipients: Dave Case, Trent Osmon, Adam Janke, Emily McCallen and John “Jack” Seifert.
FNR Honors 2023 Career Award Recipients

The Purdue Department of Forestry and Natural Resources honored five individuals for their career...

Read More
Zane Smoldt plants a tree during urban forestry practicum in June 2023
FNR Field Report: Zane Smoldt

Zane Smoldt, a junior forestry major with a concentration in forest management, worked as a...

Read More
A view of Clingmans Dome in North Carolina
FNR Field Report: Lucas Wilson

Lucas Wilson, a senior wildlife major from Batesville, Indiana, worked as a breeding bird atlas...

Read More
To Top [system-view:internal[/system-view:internal]