Arizona 2012

Background on Ecosystem

The Sonoran Desert features “sky islands”—mountains famed for the isolated bands of elevation-based woodland and forest ecosystems that they support in an otherwise desert area. Soundscapes of this area feature a great deal of wind and fairly sparse biophony coming primarily from insects and sporadic bird sounds. Precipitation is rare and occurs mostly during the monsoon season.

Specific Location

Chiricahua National Monument, Arizona, United States of America

Biome Classification(s)

Köppen-Geiger: Bsk Arid Steppe Cold Arid

Threats to Ecosystems and Animals

Years of fire suppression have increased the risk of high-intensity wildfires.


  • Study 1: Wildfire Impact Study. After the 2011 Horseshoe 2 Burn, this study compared the soundscapes between burned and non-burned sites in four different ecological systems to see if the vegetation response in burned sites supported different acoustic communities than those found in non-burned sites.