Date of Award

5-2014

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management

Advisor

Dr. Jeffrey C. Hallo

Committee Member

Dr. Julia L. Sharp

Committee Member

Dr. Robert B. Powell

Committee Member

Dr. J. Drew Lanham

Abstract

Soundscapes have become recognized as an important natural resource. The traditional human-made versus natural soundscape comparison currently used in recreational resource management is challenged by borrowing soundscape components (i.e., biophony, anthrophony, and geophony) from soundscape ecology. This study is designed to evaluate the soundscape preference of birders. A three-component model of recreational specialization was used to evaluate how recreationists may differ in their preference for soundscape components. Data from in-person surveys collected at The Audubon Center and Sanctuary at Francis Beidler Forest in Harleyville, South Carolina were used in combination with surveys from online birding list servers to obtain a sample of 415 individuals with varying levels of specialization. The findings suggest that soundscape preference exists as biophony, geophony, and anthrophony and that preference for geophony differs among specialization segments.

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