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Toward Crowd-sourced Soundscape Monitoring in Protected Areas: Integrating Sound Dominance and Triggers to Facilitate Proactive Management

Trace Gale, Andrea Ednie

Abstract


This research expanded on prior use of visitor perception data to inform potential social indicators of soundscape quality, by integrating existing urban-context soundscapes work, and the emerging use of triggers to help managers identify concerns before they reach the threshold level. Along with existing measures of sound appeal and acceptability, sound dominance helped provide a sense of how the extent of particular sounds influenced visitor experiences and a desire to visit more. Geospatial data collection for 899 visitors and eight sites within the Coyhaique National Reserve (CNR) in southern Chile during the summer high visitation season of 2019, allowed researchers to examine perceptual similarities and differences, facilitating an evaluation of new perceptual variables for soundscape monitoring. Correlation analyses identified informative relationships between the dominance (sound duration and foreground/background placement) of natural and anthropogenic sounds, and overall soundscape ratings. The duration of natural sounds was positively correlated with soundscape-level ratings, while the duration of anthropogenic sounds was negatively correlated with these ratings. Unique trends and relationships were identified across specific sites, demonstrating the value of adding measures of perceived sound dominance to soundscape monitoring processes. Observed Protected Area (PA) visitor enthusiasm for sounds and soundscapes suggests potential for crowd-sourced citizen science-based methods that could be done voluntarily and regularly using simple and accessible applications and technologies.

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Keywords


Soundscape; visitor perceptions; citizen science; sound dominance; visitor use management

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.18666/JPRA-2020-10464

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