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Sound library of the Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle

A database to collect the sound production of nature

The Sound Library of the Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle is the outcome of a scientific project that aimed at documenting nature sounds in order to better understand and survey biodiversity.

These archives of natural sounds include a documentary database on the species and a specific database for soundscapes. All are documented (species identity, locality, time of the day, temperature, behavioral context) and related, as far as possible, to recorded specimens / vouchers preserved in the collections of the MNHN.


The aim of the Soundlibrary database is make available to the widest possible audience, novice or warned, researcher or private citizen, a set of documented natural sounds for the identification and monitoring of singing animals, whether birds, frogs, mammals, fish or insects. Soundscape recordings attest the presence and activity of several species living together at a given time and place.


From a scientific point of view, capturing acoustic signals allows to build a rich knowledge base for the study of biodiversity; this base is very useful in many scientific domains. The knowledge and management of biodiversity in fact necessitate the analysis of the characters of the species on the one hand, and the study of the relationships species have with each other and with their environment on the other. The acoustic productions of each species can be used at multiple levels in these studies, whether to identify species (taxonomy, associated with morphological and molecular characters), study their relationships (phylogeny), or understand the interactions between individuals of the same species, or between species co-occuring in the same habitat (etho-ecology).


The Soundlibrary is thus a tool for the knowledge and management of biodiversity, adapted to a large panel of users.

Sounds are recorded, documented and validated by researchers from the MNHN or other research institutes, and by well-trained naturalist bioacousticians.


How to contribute and use


In order to increase knowledge on biodiversity and bioacoustics, the Soundlibrary of the MNHN welcomes inputs from audio naturalists and researchers. However, in order to keep a high scientific value, only good quality recordings documented for species identity, place and time of recording, and when necessary ambient temperature, are included in the database.

For any information about how to use MNHN Soundlibrary or to contribute to its development, please contact the database administrator at : sonocollections@mnhn.fr


Scientific curation

Laure Desutter (MNHN)
Tony Robillard (MNHN)
Jérome Sueur (MNHN)



Frédéric Guilbert (MNHN)


Supervising committee

Fernand Deroussen (Field recorder)
Olivier Adam (Sorbone-Université)
Adeline Soulier-Perkins (MNHN)
Henri CAP (Muséum Toulouse)
Frédéric Jiguet    (MNHN)
Eric Parmentier    (University of Liège)
Maria Dolores Garcia (University of Madrid)
Jean-François Julien (MNHN)
Jean Joachim (INRA Toulouse)


Création site web

Philipe Loret (MNHN)