Bioacoustics for species monitoring - a new tool for Red List assessment?

Bioacoustic monitoring and classification of animal songs has developed into a powerful tool for measuring and monitoring vocalizing species, particularly in habitats where visual observations are difficult or even impossible, such as tropical rainforests or at sea. Results from recent bioacoustic surveys illustrate the potential of the method, but also challenges and bottlenecks impeding further progress. During this session we will summarize the state-of-the art, presenting examples of promising bioacoustic methods and surveys for distinct animal groups, including mammals (bats and dolphins), birds, frogs, fishes and insects. In a subsequent discussion and brainstorming we will explore opportunities to integrate these observations and datasets into Red List assessments. Recent developments in digital recording, such as acoustic data loggers for autonomous long-term recordings and comparatively cheap digital recorders, allow the automatisation of acoustic surveys (e.g. Arbimon, AmiBio) and their integration into larger earth observation monitoring programs, such as GEOSS, GEO-BON or Lifewatch. A major problem is the time-consuming manual data analysis of recordings, but first promising prototypes for computer-aided identification are already available. As a result of our discussion we should try to integrate the potential of acoustic profiling into the assessment of threatened species and monitoring of habitats affected by global change, such as alpine areas, tropical mountain forests and areas under severe anthropogenic pressure.

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