Running Time:

80 min

Release Date:

March 2015

Recording Location:

Tetepare Island, Solomon Islands, Western Pacific

The Last Wild Island - Tetepare

Tetepare is a wilderness island of the Solomons group in the western Pacific. It is entirely covered in primary rainforest, and one of the few places where the biodiversity of this region can be found and heard intact. Elsewhere throughout the Solomons, timber companies have stripped the forests to the detriment of not only the ecosystems and surrounding reefs, but often the livelihood of traditional peoples. Tetepare is sadly the last, truly wild island.

We begin listening as surf breaks on the barrier reef that surrounds the island. Then, in the darkenss before dawn, we move into the primary rainforest itself. Kingfishers, megapodes, cuckoos, owls, insects and horned frogs call in dark. The ethereal piping of monarchs signals the coming dawn, and with it are heard the soft songs of the island's endemic white-eyes.

Later, the forest presents a diversity of tropical birdsong; metallic starlings feed nearby, lorikeets screech as they wing overhead, mynahs whistle richly, singing parrots and ducorp's cockatoos utter melodious cries, fruit pigeons boom deeply, while cicadas chorus in gentle waves. The sounds of two species are especially remarkable; the un-bird-like growls of buff-breasted coucals, and the calls of magnificent blythe's hornbills as they move around the forest on heavy wingbeats.

Listening notes for this album may be downloaded here.

Andrew comments:

Sarah and I spent ten days on the island making this recording, accompanied by our local guide, Twomey. One of the highlights for us was coming across the extraordinary early dawn singing of the white-capped monarchs. We've made their ethereal songs into a separate album, The Monarchs of Tetepare.

That Tetepare has been preserved as a sanctuary is the result of vision and hard work on the part of the islanders themselves. A visiting Australian couple, both ecologists, supported them in this enterprise, and Dr. John Read has recently written the story of their combined efforts to save the island. John describes the ecology of the island with warmth and passion, and we recommend his book as a natural companion to this recording. Links to purchase:

Amazon: Kindle edition
Amazon: Paper edition
Page Publishing, digital and print editions
John Read's website
Tetepare Island Eco Lodge website

Audio sample of this album

1.

Distant Reef at Night

3.17

2.

Into the Forest Before Dawn

11.23

3.

Daylight Comes to Tetepare

14.59

4.

Tetepare's Primary Rainforest

31.33

5.

Blythe's Hornbills and Buff-breasted Coucals

18.41

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