Researchers developed a passive acoustic monitoring system that can monitor both bioacoustics and abiotic factors.
Passive acoustic monitoring is becoming increasingly available in ecological research, following global trends toward automated data collection and big data. The acoustic sensors provide long-term and cost-effective biodiversity monitoring. However, integrating acoustic sensors with sensors for logging of additional data, such as temperature and barometric pressure, is rare.
Researchers from the Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden (XTBG) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and their collaborators have developed a new acoustic recorder which enables long-term monitoring of both bioacoustics and abiotic factors to enable more detailed bioacoustics monitoring, especially in tropical or wet conditions.
It is released under a creative commons license. The system has undergone various extensive field tests in the tropics on an altitudinal gradient. It recorded acoustic data at 44.1 kHz as well as temperature and barometric pressure for 30 days per rotation. Moreover, It is highly portable, at a weight of about 650 grams, including a weather-proof box and a 3.7 V 8,000 mAh lithium-ion battery.
“The system has the capacity to enable long-term use in the field, making it a viable and affordable method for long-term biomonitoring studies,” said Catharina Karlsson of XTBG.
The work is published in the Methods in Ecology & Evolution.