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 October 25, 2014 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 October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 24, 2014) Miniature deep sea animals discovered off the Australian coast almost three decades ago are puzzling scientists, who say the organisms have proved impossible to categorise. Academics at the Natural History of Denmark have appealed to the world scientific community for help, saying that further information on Dendrogramma enigmatica and Dendrogramma discoides could answer key evolutionary questions. Jim Drury has more. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Black Bear Cub Goes Sunday Shopping

Black Bear Cub Goes Sunday Shopping

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Oct. 23, 2014) Price check on honey? Bear cub startles Oregon drugstore shoppers. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

AFP (Oct. 23, 2014) One man is on a mission to boost the population of wolves in China's violence-wracked far west. The animal - symbol of the Uighur minority there - is under threat with a massive human resettlement program in the region. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Newsy (Oct. 23, 2014) Conflicting studies published in the same week re-ignited the debate over whether we should be eating breakfast. Video provided by Newsy
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