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
Acoustic pingers to reduce net entanglement of river dolphins, acoustic observatories for sperm whales, detectability of dolphin whistles, monitoring sperm whales through echolocation rates
11 June 2022
A new web portal for annotating bird sounds has been opened called Bird Sounds Global (BSG). It is part of project LIFEPLAN, and its key objective is to develop global, automated software for bird sound identification.
10 June 2022
Julia Martínez Pardo et al., Published in Biological Conservation
4 June 2022
Microchip has just announced the 1 GHz SAMA7G54 single-core Arm Cortex-A7 microprocessor (MPU) with MIPI CSI-2 and parallel camera interfaces, as well as up to four I2S, one SPDIF transmitter and receiver, and a 4-...
3 June 2022
"A drone emitting orca sounds will be used in attempt to guide the animal, whose health is fast deteriorating"
1 June 2022
Couple of hot-off-the-press papers on different passive acoustic monitoring studies, including ones on manatees, coral reef fishes, woodpeckers, insects, and using ecoacoustic indices in marine soundscapes
29 May 2022
Authors: Danielle I. Rappaport, Anshuman Swain, William F. Fagan, Ralph Dubayah, Douglas C. Morton
29 May 2022
We're proud to introduce the first WILDLABS On the Edge Fellows for 2022, Loretta Schindlerova and Meredith Palmer! Working alongside expert Edge Impulse mentors, these two fellows will use embedded machine learning to...
10 February 2022
Don't miss your chance to order the AudioMoth Underwater Case through GroupGets! This campaign is for a waterproof case designed specifically for AudioMoth version 1.2.0 (without the 3.5mm socket), and for use at depths...
11 January 2022
Open Acoustic Devices have tested their new HydroMoth, an affordable marine acoustic tool that could open up new avenues for marine conservationists without budget for expensive hydrophones. Read the newly published...
5 January 2022
This article provides a review of deep learning (predominantly ML) used in marine ecology and considerations for its future directions in conservation. In plain language, the authors provide a methodology for training...
20 December 2021
The Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute has an extensive acoustic archive from underwater recordings and has made their valuable dataset available to researchers around the world via an open data registry on the...
5 November 2021
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I just discovered this freely available book on digital signal processing and love the fact that it is“…intended for students … who may not have much mathematical or engineering training.” Seems like a great resource for bioacoustics, biologing etc!
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5 Trailblazing Wildlife Monitoring Tech Solutions across East Africa. What Monitoring Technologies are you using?
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New paper in Nature Communications from Jörg Müller et al. using BAR-LT recorders and CNNs to track biodiversity recovery. Study shows that #soundscapes 🎙🎶 and deep learning are powerful tools for tracking biodiversity recovery in tropical forests
PhD Opportunity: YELLOWHAMMER - Individual acoustic monitoring to study song culture evolutionwithin and between dialect areas
20 October 2023 12:54pm
PhD Opportunity: Distributed sound source localisation and separation for wireless microphone networks consisting of two-microphone nodes
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