Acoustic sensors enable efficient and non-invasive monitoring of a wide range of species, including many that are difficult to monitor in other ways. Although they were initially limited in application scope largely due to cost and hardware constraints, the development of low-cost, open-source models like the Audiomoth in recent years has increased access immensely and opened up new avenues of research. For example, some teams are using them to identify illicit human activities through the detection of associated sounds, like gunshots, vehicles, or chainsaws (e.g. OpenEars).
With this relatively novel dimension of wildlife monitoring rapidly advancing in both marine and terrestrial systems, it is crucial that we identify and share information about the utility and constraints of these sensors to inform efforts. A recent study identified advancements in hardware and machine learning applications, as well as early development of acoustic biodiversity indicators, as factors facilitating progress in the field. In terms of limitations, the authors highlight insufficient reference sound libraries, a lack of open-source audio processing tools, and a need for standardization of survey and analysis protocols. They also stress the importance of collaboration in moving forward, which is precisely what this group will aim to facilitate.
If you're new to acoustic monitoring and want to get up to speed on the basics, check out these beginner's resources and conversations from across the WILDLABS platform:
Three Resources for Beginners:
- Listening to Nature: The Emerging Field of Bioacoustics, Adam Welz
- Ecoacoustics and Biodiversity Monitoring, RSEC Journal
- Monitoring Ecosystems through Sound: The Present and Future of Passive Acoustics, Ella Browning and Rory Gibb
Three Forum Threads for Beginners:
- AudioMoth user guide | Tessa Rhinehart
- Audiomoth and Natterjack Monitoring (UK) | Stuart Newson
- Help with analysing bat recordings from Audiomoth | Carlos Abrahams
Three Tutorials for Beginners:
- "How do I perform automated recordings of bird assemblages?" | Carlos Abrahams, Tech Tutors
- "How do I scale up acoustic surveys with Audiomoths and automated processing?" | Tessa Rhinehart, Tech Tutors
- Acoustic Monitoring | David Watson, Ruby Lee, Andy Hill, and Dimitri Ponirakis, Virtual Meetups
Want to know more about acoustic monitoring and learn from experts in the WILDLABS community? Jump into the discussion in our Acoustic Monitoring group!
Header image: Carly Batist
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5 February 2016
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3 February 2016
27 October 2022 6:33pm
24 November 2022 10:07am
3 November 2022 10:27am
New article: Domain-specific neural networks improve automated bird sound recognition already with small amount of local data
15 November 2022 11:03am
2 November 2022 10:21am
4 November 2022 3:42pm
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!
29 July 2022 1:38pm
14 September 2022 8:35pm
27 October 2022 8:25pm
24 October 2022 4:50pm
20 October 2022 7:45pm
Software to aid acoustic sound files visualization/labelling + Software to syncronize video/acoustic sonograms
23 September 2022 1:01pm
19 October 2022 9:22am
19 October 2022 12:11am
10 October 2022 4:15pm
"We develop the use of benthic species as animal oceanographers by combining archival (depth, temperature) data from animal-borne tags, passive acoustic telemetry & citizen-science mark-recapture records for the flapper skate in Scotland."
10 October 2022 12:06pm
7 October 2022 9:50pm
6 October 2022 5:10pm
4 October 2022 5:20pm
3 October 2022 7:54pm
New paper - Rookognise: Acoustic detection & identification of individual rooks in field recordings using multi-task neural networks
3 October 2022 2:35pm
Authors developed system to acoustically identify individual animals (under varying conditions) using combo of multi-scale information integration, multi-channel audio & multi-task learning. Tested on captive group of rooks.
29 September 2022 3:22pm
'The low-power camera uses power from harvested acoustic energy and communicates colour images wirelessly via acoustic backscatter.' - https://twitter.com/NaturePortfolio/status/1574863768714100738?s=20&t=d…
27 September 2022 9:13pm
New paper: Seasonal swarming behavior of Myotis bats revealed by integrated monitoring, involving passive acoustic monitoring with automated analysis, trapping & video monitoring
27 September 2022 3:22pm
Authors 'examined effectiveness of acoustic monitoring compared to capture-based & video monitoring of seasonal swarming behavior among Myotis bats in UK. The 3 approaches have advantages & disadvantages for different tasks, but can be highly complementary methods.'
29 August 2022 2:38pm
6 June 2022 3:52pm
26 September 2022 6:50pm
New paper: A novel method for identifying coded tags recorded on aquatic acoustic monitoring systems
26 September 2022 2:11pm
Authors demonstrated "a low cost, simple method to support acoustic tag surveys by identifying tags both from direct acoustic recordings & by reconstructing code packets from processed C-POD data. Method was applied to decode tag detections from bass & Twaite shad."