2. General principles

A wildlife sound archive may be defined as a centralised collection of animal sound recordings properly preserved and documented for their cultural and scientific value. Such an archive may house recordings of all classes of animals from all parts of the world, as does BLOWS. Alternatively it may have a much more limited s~0pe and collect recordings only from the local area or only of one class of animals. The Australian CSIRO collection, for example, is virtually restricted to birds of the Australasian zoogeographical region.

The primary concern of this chapter will be the setting up of archives devoted to collecting wildlife sound recordings from their own local geographical areas. The resources required to develop an archive of worldwide scope are probably such that their establishment is justified in only a few centres in the world. It may be that the ideal course is the setting up of many national collections of recordings of the fauna of individual countries which can both supply and draw upon comprehensive archives of world-wide scope in a few international centres.

Whatever the scope, any wildlife sound.archive should aim to include the whole vocabulary of all the species occurring within the geographical and faunistic limitations set. In addition the more examples of, for instance, each 'song' the better, especially from a wide range of localities, dates and timings. Research is often concerned with the study of these variations and the analysis of as many different examples as possible.