Sounds of the natural world: Acoustic Atlas

Bison in YellowstoneExperience the rumbling snorts of a Bison in Yellowstone. Hear the howl of the mighty grasshopper mouse, or tune into the mysterious underwater calls of frogs. Montana State University Library presents the Acoustic Atlas, a new online initiative featuring the sounds of some of the West’s most iconic species and places. The Acoustic Atlas will collect the sounds of Montana and the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, along with habitats and species from throughout the Western United States.

Join us to experience these exciting sounds at This new initiative officially launches at our Friends of MSU Library annual benefit dinner on Thursday, October 17th.

In its first stage, the Acoustic Atlas highlights selected recordings and features from our growing collection. As the project develops, the site will fill gaps in available recordings of regional species and will serve as a digital repository for bioacoustic and soundscape research.

The Atlas will:

  • Document natural soundscapes that are increasingly impeded by human activity and development;
  • Collaborate with researchers and educators in the biological sciences, media arts, human health, education, engineering, philosophy, and the social sciences; and
  • Connect people with the sounds of regional ecosystems and biodiversity.

Bull elk bugling.In the coming months, we will be adding many new recordings to this website. We invite you to listen to samples from the collection, as well as featured recordings from around the region.

Every natural environment — every ecosystem — has its own voice. Explore the fascinating sounds of the West with us as we work to preserve the voice of American wildlands.

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