The world's first wilderness quiet park was certified at Ecuador's Zabalo River in 2019.
In this episode of Sound Escapes, you'll hear sounds recorded by Gordon Hempton, the Sound Tracker, at Zabalo River Wilderness Quiet Park — deep inside the Amazon.
Gordon calls this place a living Eden. "And when we listen there, we listen for miles. Not city blocks. We listen for miles."
Gordon Hempton: BirdNote Presents.
You’re listening to Sound Escapes. I’m Gordon Hempton, the Sound Tracker.
In this episode, you'll hear sounds I’ve recorded at Zabalo River Quiet Park deep inside the Amazon of Ecuador.
A quiet park is a place in nature with a substantial amount of natural quiet set aside to be diligently defended from noise pollution.
And that's the goal of quiet parks international: to save quiet for the benefit of all life.
Because we often forget that quiet not only improves our health and our cognitive abilities, but for wildlife, it's essential that they maintain the ability to detect the approach of a predator or to detect prey, attract a mate and establish territory.
On Earth Day 2019, the world's first wilderness quiet park was certified at Zabalo River in Ecuador.
Zabalo, there’s no other way to describe it: It is a living Eden. Traveling up the river by canoe, there’s no sign of road — no — even noise from traffic coming from far away.
The air is humid, the air is so still that a candle flame burns straight up without a mantle, unflickering. Those are ideal conditions for sound to travel.
And when we listen there, we listen for miles. Not city blocks. We listen for miles.
It's just profound, natural, quiet. Just the birds, monkeys, Caymans. There's even an opportunity to hear the Anaconda that was sunning itself on a branch and then slithers into the water.
Now, sheltering in place, it brings me comfort to listen to one of my favorite places on this earth. I hope it brings some peace to you.
[Soundscape of Zabalo River Wilderness Quiet Park]
Gordon Hempton: You've been listening to sunrise at Zabalo River Wilderness Quiet Park.
Sound Escapes is produced by Mark Bramhill and John Kessler. Ashley Ahearn is our editor. Be sure to check out our website BirdNote.org to see photos.
This podcast is made possible by Jim and Birte Falconer of Seattle.
During our next episode, we will visit Yosemite and learn a bit about the life of nineteenth century naturalist John Muir, who observed closely the music of flowing water.
I'm Gordon Hempton. I hope you'll join me.