Au­ral es­cape to the wild

Action Asia - - NEWS & VIEWS -

MED­I­TA­TION PRAC­TI­TION­ERS tune into mantras or sounds of ocean waves to get into their el­e­ment. Now, out­doors lovers have a sim­i­lar tool, be­ing able to es­cape into the wild via the Na­ture Sound Map. It may not pro­vide the surge of adren­a­line that comes with be­ing on the trail in per­son, but this in­ter­ac­tive Google Satel­lite Map pegs 415 lo­ca­tions in 85 coun­tries where record­ings of am­bi­ence noise are avail­able. Use it to re­call a favourite mo­ment on a past ad­ven­ture per­haps, or get in the mood for an upcoming trip. Beyond that, it is a valu­able re­source for na­ture watch­ers in­tent on making par­tic­u­lar sight­ings. To aid in that, selec­tions range from the more generic thrum­ming back­drop of ci­cadas in trop­i­cal rain­for­est, to the highly spe­cific and un­usual – such as the dis­tinc­tive calls of Rough-sided Frogs and Agile Gib­bons in the Ulu Muda For­est Re­serve in Malaysia. Most clips are recorded us­ing a pair of mi­cro­phones that cap­ture sound in 360˚, to best im­i­tate the nat­u­ral ex­pe­ri­ence. Though the fo­cus is on whole sound­scapes, record­ings of out­stand­ing species – such as Great Horn­bills in Cam­bo­dia’s Siem Pang Con­ser­va­tion Area – are also avail­able to aid recog­ni­tion on the ground. Check out the map and sound clips at www. na­ture­

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