Group

Acoustic Monitoring / Feed

Bioacoustic monitoring is one of our biggest and most active groups, with members collecting and analysing acoustic data from every type of wildlife, from birds and bats to big cats, and even reptiles!

discussion

Commercially available connected audio sensors

Hi - can anyone advise if there is a commercially made passive audio recorder that can be powered by solar/battery and have 3g/4g connectivity - ideally with compression on the...

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Hi!

I am not aware of any such connected loggers/recorders but they would be nice. 

The AudioMoths have been revolutionary in providing audologging at a low cost but they take a lot of "data muling" (carrying SD cards in and out of the field sites) and swapping of batteries.

Cheers,

 

Hi Lars, thanks for the response. We are using lots of Song Meter Micro's atm and they have proved to be resilient. Just need something which doesn't involve going on site regularly - but get the data off. 

Rainforest Connection's (RFCx) Guardian devices may be of interest. They are solar-powered and have connectivity options for Wifi, GSM and satellite transfer. They've previously been used for detecting e.g., gunshots or chainsaws (using edge computing) and then sending positive detections/alerts to folks on the ground. RFCx also hosts Arbimon, a free, no-code software platform that facilitates analysis of audio data as well. Happy to chat more if you'd like to talk further about it! 

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discussion

Cleaning audiomoth circuit board

Hi everyone,unfortunatly I got quite a few audiomoth boards with different levels of water damage.I removed the battery holder and plan on cleaning the boards. Do you have any...

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I'd also add that if the boards are just dirty or dusty, you can just remove all batteries, then wash with a toothbrush and water. Air dry (or use compressed air which speeds things up greatly) and then spot clean areas that need solvent with isopropanol as Harold mentioned. Also if you don't have access to conformal coating, you can also use a non-conductive clear lacquer.  The conformal coating covers all the components and prevents short circuits due to conductive water (ie: salt water) or other contaminants. However if you do use a conformal coating, make sure all cables are connected first and the device is in the exact state that it will be deployed in. Also don't conformal coat the battery connectors since you'll want to change out batteries periodically.

Hi Akiba, 
thanks for your this great advice! I used the conformal coating on parts
of the PCB with exposed metal but was has hesitent using it on the "backside" with 
 all the resistors and transistors. Also what about the "back" of the microfon. Might this side be coated?
Do you have any experience with coatings @alex_rogers 

Greetings,
Robin  

 

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discussion

Hydromoth settings

Hi Everyone,what is your #HydroMoth setup for freshwater ecoacoustic monitoring? What are your settings for...

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Hi Robin,

Did you ever get any responses to your query?  Just recovered a hydromoth I was testing for MPA monitoring, but all the files have no audio on them.  Was curious what others were doing underwater.

 

Jake

 

Hi Jacob, 
you are the first one but I have been talking to other scientist 
about their projects. Right now we are recording and hopefully automatically detecting Eurasian otter (Lutra lutra) vocalisations.
Did you find out why your files were empty or was the sound level just too low?

Greetings from Austria,
Robin

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event

AI for Forest Elephants Challenge

FruitPunch AI is hosting the AI for Forest Elephants Challenge. Together with 50+ AI enthusiasts and experts from all over the globe, we will apply AI to detect gunshots and elephant rumbles on sound monitoring...

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discussion

Potential collaboration: integrating acoustics and NASA airborne remote sensing to monitor animal and habitat biodiversity

Hi everyone. I’m looking for an ecologist/ornithologist with experience in bioacoustics to collaborate on a project integrating on-the-ground acoustics with synchronous NASA...

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Although not a professor, I know a fair number through long-term association with scgis.org, and personally am using Audiomoths in collaboration with the UC System at the Blue Oak Reserve. 

I've developed a fair bit of scripts to automatically crunch things using 'Birdnet', as per: 

I can certainly facilitate dialogue with the Cornell Ornithology lab if you do not have those connections already.  

My own background is in remote sensing (SAR, etc) and currently working in machine learning (albeit for health care currently..) this project sounds fascinating!

Are you already working with Audubon, and/or people in the UC System?

I'll also note that I'm planning to work with a few parks in the DRC/Congo basin to deploy Audiomoths alongside their camera traps. 

Dear Antonio,

It is a long-shot, but this may be relevant to what you are looking for? I have collected across 4 seasons (2022) 8-10 days/season acoustic data from 11 stations located at pine forests of different post-fire regeneration stage (>20 years since last burn, burnt in 2001, 2009, 2018) in Greece. These are typical Mediterranean forest pine landscapes - but certainly not in California or South Africa. We did not have plans at present to continue collecting data - since we got all seasons of one year, but may be the existing data or future data from these or similar areas here in Greece would be relevant to what you wish to accomplish with the airborne measurements?

Feel free to drop me a line.

All the best,

Christos

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discussion

Song Meter Micro experience?

Hi everyone, First off, what a great community this is! I only recently found out about it, and it seems like a game changer, especially for early career folk like me.I was...

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Thanks for this Carly. I didn't know the Swifts were for sale!? I've been curious about them before, but only ever seen them advertised as "for lease" from the Cornell Lab's website. Ah well... I've got the Micros now, and I'm sure they'll be fine. Might still shoot an email over to Cornell about those though, the battery life potential could make them great long-term soundscape monitors.

So they technically are "leased" but it's expected you won't return them. I think they have to use that wording to maintain their non-profit status or something like that. 

yes, I meant  144h of recording at 22kHz. Our schedule was 7h/day = about 3 weeks. In general the schedule type doesn't matter, only the recording time and the sampling rate.  When the device sleeps between the recording, it consumes almost no battery. 

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discussion

Global shortage of Raspberry Pis - What are the alternatives

So, there is a global shortage of Raspberry Pis, the open source micro-computer that has been popular amongst open hardware designers and hobbyists alike. Like...

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Hi @tom_august this is a very important topic given the global shortages we are seeing. I tend to use really low power micros rather than Pis for my stuff if I can, but I'd be very interested to hear about alternatives. I take it you are doing some reasonably heavy processing given the need for 4Bs? I have a few old 3s you are welcome to. A great list from @PshemekZ there. I don't know much about these: 

But didn't see them in the list. 

 @Freaklabs will likey have some ideas too. Looking forward to hearing more.

Cheers,

Rob

Unfortunately not much to add. I think there was an assumption that Raspberry Pi's would always be available and it's turning out that it's unfortunately not the case. I'm guilty of this for standard chips. I didn't think there'd be such a huge shortage that spread across so many chip families which left us scrambling.  I'm sure the supply crunch will ease up soon so the RasPi shortage should ease. It should be considered thought that should something happen to the Raspberry Pi Foundation, there's a possibility that the production could end. Since Raspberry Pi's are not open source, this would be devastating to many projects that rely on them. 

As for porting to another platform, I guess the question would be which platform to bet on for the Raspberry Pi alternate and possibly eventual successor. It would probably need to be open source, widely available, and have enough community around it to support itself. Nothing immediately comes to mind (Jetson possibly but not open source and subject to whims of nVidia).

And perhaps this could turn into a community project to come up with an open platform that conservation communities can standardize on where availability could also be guaranteed. There's a lot of exciting things happening with the RISC-V architecture, which could be a good candiate.

As an update from us, we are playing around with two alternatives:

  • Banana PI BPI-M5 M5 4GB 4 x 2GHz 
  • Radxa Rock 4 SE 

I'll update once we have results!

 

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discussion

Unifying acoustic metadata

Let's be honest, there are only a few of us that get super excited about metadata standards. However, it's perhaps ironic that the highly technical (and perhaps boring to some)...

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Hi Jamie, this is super exciting! I had not realized that PAMGuard integration was going to be part of the plan for Tethys - so thrilling! 

One quick question - when processing large datasets, often I end up with a series of binary/database files (e.g., separate runs for separate frequency bands). Does Tethys accommodate the multiple file scenario? 

Would love to give it a whirl when appropriate. 

Yeah, it's an exciting project. Also will be a great excuse to improve PAMGuard documentation - something sorely needed. Python libraries also on the way as part of this.

As for Tethys, yes it will accommodate the multiple configuration file scenario - ideally the end game will be that any configuration you use in PAMGuard will be directly exportable to a Tethys database. If you use multiple configurations, then each is a separate Tethys database, however, when these are exported they can be amalgamated into one because the Tethys is clever enough to know these are the same data processed in different ways. 

"Would love to give it a whirl when appropriate. " - might be a while but noted! :-)

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Link

WILDLABS Digest: 4 November 2022

A new issue of our community digest just went out! Check it out to discover a big platform update, and a summary of all the latest content from across WILDLABS in one easy to scan place!

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discussion

Your HydroMoth experience!

Hi everyone,we just got our first dedicated #hydromoth in the post...

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Thanks for the little push on twitter ;-)

I willl be using the #hydromoth in the Austrian Danube freshwater ecosystem.
The Donau-Auen National Park preserves the last great floodplain landscape in Central Europe, between the cities of Vienna and Bratislava. I´m working with colleagues combining sounds and eDNA on fish and European pond turtles. I´m also testing the Pond Acoustic Sampling Scheme by @CarlosAbrahams et al.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8216941/

Now what about your species of interest?

Greetings,
Robin 

Cleaning Hydromoth cases

After some time underwater (freshwater) the Hydromoth cases start showing
quite some biofouling. How do you clean your cases? I tried my ultrasonic cleaner and it worked quite well:

 

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discussion

Data mgmt for Passive Acoustic Monitoring best practices?

Hello!I'm running a small passive acoustic monitoring project for terrestrial species, using audiomoths and swifts. How do people and organizations manage the ballooning datasets...

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Hi Alex--

The first thing I'd suggest you think through is how much data you have vs how much data you are currently working on. Because if you have data from previous years that you want to ensure you're storing securely and reliably but don't need immediate access to in order to run analysis on, that opens up some options. You can compress data using lossless algorithms like FLAC, where the compression ratio varies but 50% is a pretty good margin, and then convert back to WAV if necessary for reanalysis. Compressing using MP3, OGG, AIFF, or other compression algorithms is an option that saves even more storage space but you will lose information in ways you wouldn't with FLAC--it depends on your specific needs.

I'd also recommend setting up a RAID array (RAID = "Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks"). This offers some additional security in event of a drive failure. A lot of folks who do video editing, probably the most similar use case to people working with acoustic data who also lack the institutional support of a large company or university IT department use a local NAS enclosure like https://www.qnap.com/en-us/product/ts-433 that are designed for just this purpose. Some higher initial startup costs than just buying individual USB hard drives but that does come with some perks including additional reliability and can be faster to read data depending on the exact drive specs and your local networking setup.

There are also low-cost cloud storage services like Amazon's Glacier. However, getting these set up can be a little bit tricky and they are not particularly responsive (for example, if you upload data to Glacier, it will be very safe, but getting it back if you need to use it again can take a few days depending on the dataset size).

Hello Alex,

   My information might not be that helpful to you, still, our organisation have an Enterprise license of AWS cloud and we store all our media files (video, pictures, audio etc.) there. We are also using a media management solution, Piction, thru which we upload the files into the S3 bucket and in the process it also captures the file metadata (some of the metadata values needs to be entered manually). This is useful to search the files if someone wants to view or process the file later. We are soon deciding on the file storage configuration so that old files will move to cheap storage like AWS Glacier, which will take a maximum of a week time to retrieve it.  

Jitendra 

Hi Alex,

I'd go much further along the lines that David @dtsavage sets out. Before jumping to implementations, better think through why you want to keep all that data, and for who? From your question, it appears you have at least three purposes:

1- for yourself to do your research

2- for others to re-use.

3- for yourself to have a back-up

For 1) you should do what works best for you.

For 3) use your organization's back-up system or whatever comes close to that

For 2 and 3) As you are indicating yourself : deposit your data at your nation's repository or zenodo.org if your nation doe not have one. It may be some documentation work ( which is what you should do anyways, right? ), but then you can stop worrying about holding on to it. Someone else is doing that for you and they do a much better job - because it is their job. Moreover, you increase the chance that other will actually become aware of all that data that you are sitting on by putting it into a repository. Who is otherwise going to find out and how that you have those disks on your desk? Lastly, depositing your data can also serve as a back-up. If you don't want to share it before you've published about it, there is likely the option of depositing under time-embargo or of depositing while requiring your consent for any re-use. 

You ask how many people actually do this? You can find the answers at the repository, but I suggest that what matters most is whether you want to for your own reasons, and whether your funders, or organization's funders require it.

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