Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Digital ears in the rainforest: Estimating dynamics of animal populations by using sound recordings and computing

Date:
February 27, 2014
Source:
University of Helsinki
Summary:
A Finnish-Brazilian project is constructing a system that could estimate the dynamics of animal populations by using sound recordings, statistics and scientific computing. The canopy in a Brazilian rainforest is bustling with life, but nothing is visible from the ground level. The digital recorders attached to the trees, however, are picking up the noises of birds.

Voice data from digital recorders in Brazilian rainforests can soon be translated into more specific information about bird populations.
Credit: Ulisses Camargo

A Finnish-Brazilian project is constructing a system that could estimate the dynamics of animal populations by using sound recordings, statistics and scientific computing.

Related Articles


The canopy in a Brazilian rainforest is bustling with life, but nothing is visible from the ground level. The digital recorders attached to the trees, however, are picking up the noises of birds.

"We can assess the factors which impact the distribution of bird species based on these recordings. If we can hear the song of a certain species in our recordings, that means at least one individual was present. If the song is not on the recording, either no individuals were present or they were not singing. However, just knowing whether a bird was there or not tells us little about the size or structure of the population or the movements of individual birds, so this is just the starting point," explains Ulisses Camargo, who is currently working on his dissertation at the Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences at the University of Helsinki, Finland.

The newly launched Finnish-Brazilian project seeks to glean more information from the massive amount of recorded data using statistical methods and scientific computing.

"Our first objective is to create an algorithm that can automatically sift through tens of thousands of hours of recorded material. The algorithm should be able to identify the species of birds by their song and indicate how reliable this recognition is. After that, we will use our network of digital recorders to determine which factors impact the population fluctuations of species and communities. We will examine how the animal communities in natural and disturbed forests differ from one another, or how the proximity of a river influences the population density of different species," describes Professor Otso Ovaskainen.

Professor Ovaskainen's group has already begun the development of the software to be used for species identification, building on existing molecular species identification algorithms based on DNA sequencing. The intention is to construct the software so that it can later be used on other animals identifiable by the sounds they make, such as frogs.

In addition to the network of digital sound recorders, the Brazilian partners in the study use several other technologies, such as small GPS transmitters which allow them to track the movements of large birds and mammals. A harmonic radar is used to monitor the movements of smaller organisms, such as bees. Thus, the overall objective of the project is to develop and combine new methods of field research and statistical modelling that will allow improved mapping and monitoring of tropical diversity.

The project is mainly financed by the Academy of Finland and FAPESP in Brazil.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Helsinki. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Helsinki. "Digital ears in the rainforest: Estimating dynamics of animal populations by using sound recordings and computing." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 February 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140227091436.htm>.
University of Helsinki. (2014, February 27). Digital ears in the rainforest: Estimating dynamics of animal populations by using sound recordings and computing. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 1, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140227091436.htm
University of Helsinki. "Digital ears in the rainforest: Estimating dynamics of animal populations by using sound recordings and computing." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140227091436.htm (accessed February 1, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Nanoscale Sensor Could Help Wine Producers and Clinical Scientists

Nanoscale Sensor Could Help Wine Producers and Clinical Scientists

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Jan. 30, 2015) A nanosensor that mimics the oral effects and sensations of drinking wine has been developed by Danish and Portuguese researchers. Jim Drury saw it in operation. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dog-Loving Astronaut Wins Best Photo of 2015

Dog-Loving Astronaut Wins Best Photo of 2015

Buzz60 (Jan. 30, 2015) Retired astronaut and television host, Leland Melvin, snuck his dogs into the NASA studio so they could be in his official photo. As Mara Montalbano (@maramontalbano) shows us, the secret is out. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.S. Wants to Analyze DNA from 1 Million People

U.S. Wants to Analyze DNA from 1 Million People

Reuters - US Online Video (Jan. 30, 2015) The U.S. has proposed analyzing genetic information from more than 1 million American volunteers to learn how genetic variants affect health and disease. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Rarest Cat on Planet Caught Attacking Monkeys on Camera

Rarest Cat on Planet Caught Attacking Monkeys on Camera

Buzz60 (Jan. 30, 2015) An African Golden Cat, the rarest large cat on the planet was recently caught on camera by scientists trying to study monkeys. The cat comes out of nowhere to attack those monkeys. Patrick Jones (@Patrick_E_Jones) has the rest. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins