Automated acoustic monitoring captures timing and intensity of bird migration @ J. Applied Ecology

Monitoring small, mobile organisms is crucial for science and conservation, but is technically challenging. Migratory birds are prime examples, often undertaking nocturnal movements of thousands of kilometres over inaccessible and inhospitable geography. Acoustic technology could facilitate widespread monitoring of nocturnal bird migration with minimal human effort. Acoustics complements existing monitoring methods by providing information about individual behaviour and species identities, something generally not possible with tools such as radar. However, the need for expert humans to review audio and identify vocalizations is a challenge to application and development of acoustic technologies. Here, we describe an automated acoustic monitoring pipeline that combines acoustic sensors with machine listening software (BirdVoxDetect). We monitor 4 months of autumn migration in the northeastern United States with five acoustic sensors, extracting nightly estimates of nocturnal calling activity of 14 migratory species with distinctive flight calls. We examine the ability of acoustics to inform two important facets of bird migration: (1) the quantity of migrating birds aloft and (2) the migration timing of individual species. We validate these data with contemporaneous observations from Doppler radars and a large community of citizen scientists, from which we derive independent measures of migration passage and timing. Together, acoustic and weather data produced accurate estimates of the number of actively migrating birds detected with radar. A model combining acoustic data, weather and seasonal timing explained 75% of variation in radar-derived migration intensity. This model outperformed models that lacked acoustic data. Including acoustics in the model decreased prediction error by 33%. A model with only acoustic information outperformed a model comprising weather and date (57% vs. 48% variation explained, respectively). Acoustics also successfully measured migration phenology: species-specific timing estimated by acoustic sensors explained 71% of variation in timing derived from citizen science observations. Our results demonstrate that cost-effective acoustic sensors can monitor bird migration at species resolution at the landscape scale and should be an integral part of management toolkits. Acoustic monitoring presents distinct advantages over radar and human observation, especially in inaccessible and inhospitable locations, and requires significantly less expense. Managers should consider using acoustic tools for monitoring avian movements and identifying and understanding dangerous situations for birds. These recommendations apply to a variety of conservation and policy applications, including mitigating the impacts of light pollution, siting energy infrastructure (e.g. wind turbines) and reducing collisions with structures and aircraft.

Timing of dawn chorus in songbirds along an anthropization gradient @ ICCB

On the basis of a field survey conducted on a breeding bird community (37 species) in spring 2022 in France, we disentangle the relative influence of such factors of the timing of bird chorus both at the species and community levels. Human activities are thus not only driving temporal changes in different bird species but also promote a change in the temporal structure of the chorus at the whole community.

BioacAI: Understanding animal sounds with machine learning

Official website: The biodiversity crisis is coming into focus. Yet, data for monitoring wild animal populations are still incomplete and uncertain. And there are still big gaps in our understanding of animal behaviour and interactions. Animals make sounds that convey so much information. How can we use this to help monitor and protect wildlife?… Continue reading BioacAI: Understanding animal sounds with machine learning

Réseau thématique “Capteurs en environnement” (RTCE)

Site officiel : Forum : Le réseau a pour vocation de rassembler l’ensemble des acteurs œuvrant dans les disciplines dédiées à la mesure in natura, en environnement naturel ou semi-naturel, souvent fortement anthropisé. L’ensemble des systèmes ou écosystèmes sont considérés : atmosphère, biosphère, terre interne ou externe, lacs, océans, glaciers et calotte de glace,… Continue reading Réseau thématique “Capteurs en environnement” (RTCE)

PETREL: Platform for Environmental Tracking of Renewable Energy and wildLife

Malgré leur intérêt évident dans la transition énergétique, les infrastructures productrices d’énergies renouvelables marines ont un impact sur la faune locale qui reste difficile à quantifier. Dans cecontexte, le projet PETREL (Platform for Environmental Tracking of Renewable Energy and wildLife) vise à inventer une solution pérenne et éco-responsable au problème du suivi environnemental des installations… Continue reading PETREL: Platform for Environmental Tracking of Renewable Energy and wildLife