The collection of animal voices

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Our collection

The collection consists of around 120,000 recordings of animal voices. The collection comprises recordings of 1,800 species of birds, 580 species of mammals, more than 150 species of arthropods, some fish, amphibian and reptilian species.
One third of the animal recordings was made in the wild and two thirds in captivity. Wild animals were mainly recorded in Central and Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, Central Asia, especially Mongolia, some in Northern and Central America and Antarctica.

While up to 1990 the majority of the recordings was made by Günter Tembrock, his collaborators and students, now the collection is being expanded by external collections such as those of D. Langwald (recordings from the Tierpark Berlin), K. Conrads (a large bird sound collection) and G. Hohmann (recordings of primates from India and Sri Lanka). Since the scientific research at the Animal Sound Archive is focussed on the acoustic communication of canids a large collection of Arctic fox vocalizations has been added.

With the majority of recordings still being on analogue magnetic tapes, conservation is a major topic at the Animal Sound Archive. Fortunately, most of the tapes are still in very good condition. They are currently transferred to digital storage media. In order to retain high quality, digitalization is carried out at a sampling rate of 96 kHz and 24 bit resolution.

Other sound archives

Collections of animals voices exist at some scientific institutions. The largest collection is the Macaulay Library at the Cornell University in Ithaca (USA). The wildlife section of the National sound archive at the British Library currently contains more then 130.000 wildlife recordings. Other important collections are the Borror Laboratory of Bioacoustics in Ohio (USA), the Australian National Wildlife Collection and the phonozoo in Madrid.

Call for support

Working student

The animal voices in the collection were mostly collected by the staff of the sound archive during their spare time. We would much obligated to everybody who is willing to provide his own recordings to other scientists or for popular scientific purposes. If you want to provide recordings please contact us.

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