Recording the sounds of nature to monitor biodiversity in Paraguayan reserve

25 September 2018

In cooperation with Juan Pablo Culasso, IUCN NL partner organization Guyra Paraguay registered nature sounds in Los Tres Gigantes reserve in the Parguayan Pantanal. The recordings make a valuable addition to the biodiversity database of the reserve.

Los Tres Gigantes reserve is found in the Paraguayan Pantanal, along the banks of the Negro river. To capture the enormous amount of fauna in this rich natural ecosystem, Guyra Paraguay collaborated with Juan Pablo Culasso, who is an expert at registering bird and nature sounds. The young Uruguayan was born blind, but excels in recognizing bird sounds thanks to his excellent hearing.

Valuable contribution to database

The audio fragments make a valuable addition to the Pantanal’s biodiversity database, which originally only consisted of photographs. The recording also resulted in the launch of a CD with nature sounds of the Tres Gigantes reserve.

With the funds raised from album sales, Guyra aims to improve the research center in the reserve. “It is very important that the rangers’ facilities are extended,” says Fabiana Benitez of Guyra Paraguay. “We need to protect the research center from the frequently occurring floods and provide the rangers with improved facilities such as security uniforms and water filters.”

The CD contains 12 audio fragments (‘soundscapes’) of the reserve and 59 audio fragments of the birds that are found in the reserve.

A large part (3.600 hectares) of the land that is now part of Los Tres Gigantes reserve (15.000 hectares) was bought with support from IUCN NL in 2007. “The area is an important transition zone between different ecosystems, but was under pressure because of the expansion of agriculture and livestock breeding,” says Marc Hoogeslag, Senior Expert Nature Conservation at IUCN NL. “The reserve, literally ‘Three Giants’ gets her name from three species you can find there: the giant otter, the giant armadillo and the giant anteater. Because our partner organization Guyra was able to buy this land with support from de National Postcode Loterij, this rich ecosystem was conserved.”

Curious to hear the sounds of the reserve?

Listen to a number of fragments from the album, including Juan Pablo Culasso’s personal favorite.

Fragment 1: Icterus croconotus

Fragment 2: Synallaxis albilora

Fragment 3: Juan Pablo Culasso's favourite- Nyctidromus Albicollis

Contribute to the Guyra research center

Are you interested in buying the album? Please contact Doris Schyns. 

With your purchase, you will contribute to the improvement of the research center to protect the nature in the Paraguayan Pantanal.

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More articles by: Sander van Andel