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!


Conservation Innovation Manager

Island Conservation's Innovation Team is dedicated to developing innovative, data-driven tools to increase the scale, scope, and pace of island restorations around the world. As the Conservation Innovation Manager, you...

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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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Hi all, 

Thanks again to everyone who commented on this. I've been back from the field for a week or so, just catching up on things. Here are my thoughts on the Micro for anyone considering them.


- Durability/waterproofing. One literally ended up underwater for 2 days after a rapid flood event, and it was still working. No fish or dolphin recordings, sadly, but it worked for the rest of the season - good to know! No humidity issues either, I used two of the small desiccant packets per recorder, and changed them each time I changed the batteries. I haven't used the SM Mini, but I would imagine that having the foam mic windscreen might actually be a disadvantage in wet environments, as it surely gets saturated easily and dries slowly, potentially changing the mic's sensitivity. No foam or external components = fewer 

- Usability. This isn't specific to the Micro, but the app is great. For anyone who hasn't used Wildlife Acoustics before, it's a definite plus. Love the flexibility to have multiple schedules per day (e.g. full dawn chorus combined with 1-in-10 for the rest of the day). Being able to do everything, including change schedule, from a phone vs a laptop is a big plus. Admittedly I haven't checked the latest version of the AudioMoth configuration app, but last time I used it, it did not have the functionality of the SM app.

- Availability! This might be a dumb one, but good luck trying to get an AudioMoth... Even the SM Mini is currently on backorder, as are several of the other main options.

- Sound quailty. For some applications, it's perfectly fine, comparable to AudioMoth, but see main 'con' below.


- Uneven frequency response. This is a big one. As @Oliver_Metcalf pointed out, there is a strange peak in the f response at around 6kHz. It's on their website, but I had not quite appreciated how significant it is. It's a big deal IF you plan on doing soundscape analysis (e.g. acoustic indices), because it biases recordings towards the insect chorus. A lot of my recordings ended up with clipping distortion as a result of insects (cicadas, katydids) and even some frogs (sp.) This is less of an issue if you're listening for particular species, especially if it vocalises <6kHz, like most birds and frogs.

- Battery life (a). Admittedly, I should have done some more thorough testing with this one, like @jkitzes' lab. Based on a quick test and estimates, I thought the SM Micro should get ~100 hours of recording using Eneloop Pro batteries. What I actually got was around 80 hours on average, which is pretty bad, and meant that a lot more of my time was spent going to change batteries than originally planned. It was in lowland rainforest, so low temperature was not an issue. Sample rate was 32kHz. Potentially there was an issue with my battery charger, but I tested batteries and they seemed at full capacity. I don't know whether there is some incompatibility issue going on...

- Battery life (b). I also used Energizer Lithium batteries (the best ones) on a couple of deployments. Strangely, this did not dramatically improve things! I got 90-100 hours. However, when I changed the schedule for one of the recorders from '1 min on, 2 off, 24/7' to '1 min on, 0 off, 5am-6pm', that recorder lasted for 250hrs! I don't know if this was just a fluke, or if something about power cycling differences between schedule types has a big effect. It shouldn't, but that schedule got by far the longest battery life. 


- Great for short-term deployments targeted at particular species (e.g. SDM ground-truthing, preliminary conservation monitoring)

- Probably better suited to temperate sites with less insect noise

- Test out different schedules to see if this really does affect battery life

- NOT good for soundscape analysis/acoustic indices 

Let me know if you have any questions/comments! Hope this is helpful to anyone thinking about these recorders.

Hi Lucy, 

Sorry! I was in the field by the time you replied, and have not been back long. I realise it's been months now, but are you still planning on using the SM Micros? If so, please have a look at my thoughts in the new comment on this thread. I would think in Norway, the stridulating insect issue would not be as bad as in the tropics. Depends on what you want to use them for. Battery life is still definitely an issue though, and even more so in low temperatures. Good luck, let me know how you get on, or if you went with a different recorder.



Hi everyone. I am suuuuuper late on this discussion but I just finished 6-month fieldwork deploying 18 SM Micro over 70 different locations in Java, so I thought I would like to share my opinion on this device. So my work is basically installing each recorder in one location for the duration of 7-14 days before moving it to a different location, with battery and silica gel changed in between every deployment. Here's my thought:

Waterproofing - The first 2 months of the fieldwork was the wettest season I have ever experienced in the field. Extreme rain almost on a daily basis. Most of the time the recorder was working just fine except for the 2nd week of deployment when I found the inside a bit wet, but it was probably because I forgot to ensure that both lids were clicking.  The recorder still works fine after this deployment, and this was when I decided to change the silica gel before the next deployment.

Sound quality - As mentioned by others. there's an annoying peak at 6kHz. I did not originally plan to do soundscape analysis so it wasn't a big problem at the beginning, but now there is some discussion on doing so. Other than this I found the quality to be just adequate.

Battery Life - I am using alkaline 1,5 volt (non-rechargable) battery and get ~120 hours of recording, with a sample rate of 32khz. Suitable for my method, but certainly not for longer deployment.

Safety - My field site is full of a poacher who does not like to be detected, and the rangers warned me so many times about the camera trap that was destroyed or stolen by these people. I used steel cable and a small carabiner-style padlock which I later realized wouldn't stand a chance against a few hits of the machete, but luckily no recorder went missing--mostly because I tried to hide it as far as possible from the trails and cover our tracks. The small size of SM Micro makes it easy to hide among foliage (be careful on contact noise between leaves and recording), and the fact that it is colored green and has no external light also greatly helps (unlike Swiftone. Seriously, who thought that white is a perfect color for an expensive device that will be left in the forest for a long time?)

In conclusion, it is a cheap and easy-to-get device (compared to the mythical Audiomoth) for species presence detection in a short time like I did, but certainly not for longer deployment or more intricate bioacoustic analysis. 

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Searching for researchers working in Africa

Hi all,I work for World Vision Australia on a project called "Scale Up FMNR" (Famer Managed Natural Regeneration). At its most simple level, FMNR is a practice that encourages...

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Hi Andrew,

Great to hear about what you are currently working on. Based on the scope of your work, here are some organisations working across East Africa that could be useful to connect with:

1. Komaza

2. GainForest

Best wishes.

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Soil Ecoacoustics - viable?

Hi everyone, A colleague is keen to get a gauge on the potential of soil ecoacoustic tech. They are asking - it appears to be quite simple and practical tech, is it viable...

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Awesome, thanks a lot carlos! I've shared with the person who asked me. 

if you're up for it, I also may steal you for a variety hour spot on this at some point, as now i'm curious to hear more! 

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The Variety Hour: September

Join us this month to hear about developing a Polar Bear satellite ear tag transmitter, how 3D tech is being used in forest ecology, Digital Earth Africa's work to make Earth Observation data open and accessible for the...

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In case you missed it...

Five #tech4wildlife people, projects and updates that caught our attention this month. An AI supported bear early warning system, a project that's connecting indigenous communities with high speed internet, exploring...

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Hi Steph! Nice with this "sporadic series"! The bear alarm in China reminds me of the Bear Repeller by the Hack the Planet guys:/Lars
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Which market-available microphones, accelerometers and GIS sensors for dogs / pets ?

I have conducted an MSc thesis in data-science applied on bioacoustics data, and wish to carry on some experiments on my own now, using domestic environment as a lab.I am looking...

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Hi Luigi!


You should have a look at the μMoth

 developed by @alex_rogers and others from Open Acoustics Devices:

As an alternative audiologger meant to be animal borne, check out the Audiologger developed by Simon Chamaillé-Jammes @schamaille et al :

This one can also log acceleration and magnetometry! We have recently deployed it on muskoxen in Greenland.

For a GPS tracker, you may want take a look at the SnapperGPS by @JonasBchrt & @alex_rogers :

As an alternative the i-gotU GPS logger may be of interest:

Regarding your question on sampling frq: We have been using 8Hz (and 10 Hz on the Audiologger Acceleration logging) for our slow moving muskoxen. For an animal like a dog, you probably want to sample at somewhat higher frq. This group used 50Hz in a study of arctic fox: 



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Large scale bioacoustic analysis in the Peruvian Amazon

It's relatively easy to collect vast amounts of audio data - it's not so easy to analyse it and get consistent results. The Wilder Sensing platform enables users to upload vast quantities of audio which is then analysed using ML models such as BirdNET - read Auroras story.


Estimating California Spotted Owl population with bioacoustic survey

News about a population survey of California Spotted Owls using 1,600 autonomous recording units in the Sierra Nevada region. Machine learning made analyzing this acoustic data possible at this large scale for the first time.


Reviewing Now: Animal Telemetry Postdoctoral Fellowship

Smithsonian Environmental Research Center
The Smithsonian Institution seeks a field- and data-oriented biologist to support marine animal telemetry research and to assist with activities of the Atlantic Cooperative Telemetry (ACT) Network. 

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Building a new recording device for sound localization

Hi all, Nice group! I'm building an acoustic monitoring device that I wanted to share as it may be of interest to some people and also I'd like to know of any requirements that...

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Thanks! Yes, I'm using the libraries from opensoundscape and it was Tessa who pointed me to wildlabs :) I'll publish the source code to the sound capture code this weekend in github with minimal instructions on configuring the rest of the OS till I get time to write an article about it which won't be till I've built 5x articles and done a convincing field test for a motivating article. Note, although I learnt how to configure the time synchronization with PPS from other articles on the net some steps were missed out that were vital to getting a fast and good sync, I'll be publishing these. Specifically, the start order of the gps versus chrony needs to be reversed from the default otherwise the PPS signal is not being communicated via shared memory to chrony which ruins the convergence to accurate time. Along with allowing the chrony time server daemon to step the clock so long as the alignment has > 1 ms of difference.

Simulations with opensoundscape suggest really, really good accuracy with the soundfinder algorithm is possible. When we get closer to new years eve I'll get really good test data from all the illegal fireworks that get set off here.

Once the capture side of things is sorted I'll move on to finding a good inference algorithm that performs well on the raspberry pi and then to working on a central server to correlate all of this automatically with the goal to making something that sends out an alert to a google maps link as to the location of the source, that will be fun :)

Oh and actually, I have to finish the install code for my other project that links computer vision algorithms to a state management and alerting system. This runs on jetson series SBCs. I've ported it all to the new Jetson Orin series computers but haven't yet finished writing the install code because I got distracted with this project about 4 months ago. The computer vision alerting state machine thing is here, and it's also useful in the fight against poachers. The new Orin series from nvidia allow the highest scoring open source computer vision algorithms (based on the microsoft coco dataset) to be integrated, such as yolov6, which results in significantly less false positives. And the state management facilities of my app provide you with a large amount of flexibility to reduce this even further.

As promised, I've pushed the code to github today, the URL is:


Note, this is somewhat of a premature announcement (to keep my promise) because I still need to add a bunch of documentation and how to install the prerequisites, recommended way of deploying etc.

However, for the curious, it is a very simple program. And so long as you install jackd2 and the prerequisites to the build script (./ it will run on whatever system you have and accurately align the sound files to the system time, along with the tracking file.

Much of the work surrounding this project was working out how to setup the GPS synced system time correctly. There are several guides on how to do this, however, when I tried to run this on a system that was disconnected from the network I found that there were important steps omitted in the guides that were needed to provide fast and accurate syncing in the absence of any network. I'll be adding these steps to this repository over time and write up a nice article about it once I've done the field tests. With the changes I made when installing the time sync changes the current system will sync to sub microsecond accuracy within a minute from when 5 satellites are locked.

I've tested a Petterson ultrasonic microphone with a sample rate of 384khz and it works out of the box with this software as well. Would be cool to sound localize some bats.

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Hydromoth settings

Hi Everyone,what is your #HydroMoth setup for freshwater ecoacoustic monitoring? What are your settings for underwater recording with your AudioMoth? I would love to dicuss...

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Hi Ian, are you in Brisbane? We're based in Brisbane also. You can borrow a few BARLT and Aquarian Audio hydrophones for a little while to compare against your hydromoth. We have localisation also using the inbuilt GPS and software to time align the calls. It'll probably save you time. You can run a microphone and hydrophone on a cable on the one recorder.

Hi Ian,

I have hours of an unidentified creature recorded during overnight recording sessions with mutliple hydrophones. We think it is platypus but there is nothing to compare against that isn't from captive sounds. I am waiting on the Hydromoth to become available again so I can do longer term monitoring.

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Acoustic Monitoring and AI to Recognize Elephant Sounds & Gunshots

This article discusses Cornell's bioacoustics work with AI tools to recognize both elephant "voices" as well as gunshots. The elephant rumbles analyzed in this work are almost imperceptible to the human ear, but can be clearly detected with technology.


#Tech4Wildlife Photo Challenge: Judges' Panel Honorees

Please join us in celebrating this year’s top #Tech4Wildlife Photo Challenge Honorees as chosen by our panel of leading conservation organization judges, and enjoy the story contained within these entries about how our...

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Detection and removing of windy events in wild acoustic recordings

Hello to everyone, I have to clean my dataset of recordings concerning an African penguin colony inhabits the South African coast. In particular, since I have recordings with days...

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Interesting subject! 

I work on the tundra in Northeast Greenland and we get some quite high winds.

I am right now testing wrapping our AudioMoths with a simple windjammer. It will not work in the strongest winds, but in many cases it will reduce clipping.

I am using the Røde Dead Kitten which seem to fit perfectly! Only issue is that the last batch I got had a much tighter elastic band (perhaps something went wrong in production or they changed it).



Hi everyone! 

@baddiwad was one of our fantastic speakers in our June Variety Hour show, so we had the chance to hear about her work in a lot more detail. If you're interested in finding out more about Franscesca's project, catch up here: 

Audacity has a noise filter which one 'trains' on a piece of recorded noise. Perhaps it is worth a shot. Freeware, open source, and with a community of developers and users.

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Does anyone have experience of LABMaker?Has it been good? Bad? Any comments or feedback? We are looking for groups who could help us to manufacture a piece of open hardware. Also...

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Dear Tom, the AudioMoths are being sold via LabMakers (but I do not know if they construct them for them). Have you been in touch with the AudioMoth team?  I am sure they will be able to provide you useful feedback regarding what you are trying to do, and LabMakers.

I have only used them to buy things from them.

Regards, Christos

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