Hearing Animals in Thoreau:

Many people tend to ignore the historical trends when dealing with modern crises. This includes the extinction of many species of animals, including frogs. An article in the New York Times, titled “The Silence of the Frogs,” tells the outstanding story of the rapid death of tree frogs. Most of them are dying because of human interaction with their environment. Though it is hard to believe, the issue of endangerment and extinction is not a recent one.

Many American figures have realized the negative impact of human interaction on the environment. From the extinction of animals to the way nature sounds. This is shown in Bernie Krause’s work called “Soundscape.” He took natural sounds, that we hear in nature, and composed them into a very soothing album. It is important though to realize that if any man-made noise was emitted, the quality of the recording would be significantly affected. This is also shown in the croaking of a chorus of bullfrogs. In his famous novel, Walden, Thoreau studied the workings of the croaking of a group of bullfrogs. He noticed that if an owl or a coyote ate one of the frogs, it took a full 45 minutes to an hour to re-align the group and re-create the coherent sound. Imagine if a dozen, 50 or even 100 frogs were killed. The amount of time to restore the sound of the group would be enormous! This is what happens when humans alter the habitat of any animal, let alone the bullfrog. It hurts the ability of a pack of animals to work together to survive.

The time Thoreau spent in Walden was very eye opening. Not only to him, but also to the readers. They understood that in order to preserve the beauty of nature, sometimes, the best thing to do is to leave it alone.

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