Wildlife Acoustics Blog

Research

White Nose film examines progress made against the deadly fungus

White Nose film examines progress made against the deadly fungus

Four years ago, Ravenswood Media released a highly informative video called The Battle for Bats: White Nose Syndrome, explaining how the deadly fungal disease was decimating bat populations at an unprecedented rate. At that time it was reported that the fungus had killed over 400,000 bats. Today that number is over 5.7 million, and it is being called one of the most devastating afflictions to hit American wildlife.

The sequel film, subtitled Surviving White Nose Syndrome, remains positive. Some bats are surviving multiple years of exposure to the fungus and looking fairly healthy. In order to study the survivors, bats are banded with year-specific bands to track their health over consecutive hibernation periods. Researchers hope they can glean some answers from the bats that are defying the odds multiple times.

Because the disease has been around for several years now, protocols have been implemented at caves sites around the U.S. At Mammoth Cave in for example, the 400,000 visitors that pass through must step through bio-security mats, which serves the dual purpose of keeping them from bringing pathogens in as well as from taking them home.

Purdue HEMA lab pioneers field of Soundscape Ecology

Purdue HEMA lab pioneers field of Soundscape Ecology

Brian Pijanowski, Professor at Purdue University in Landscape Ecology, is pioneering the emerging field of Soundscape Ecology, and he's using Wildlife Acoustics SM2 Song Meters to do so. According to Pijanowski, sounds can oftentimes be the first indicators in a host of changes facing a habitat.

Like an acoustic fingerprint, each environment has its very own sonic signature, and that signature is bound to change with changes in its diversity. Using these aural snapshots, scientists are able to see what's happening in a landscape over time. At first glance, it might seem obvious to track the sounds in an environment as a gauge of biodiversity and ecological impact.

“Over increasingly large areas of the United States, Spring now comes unheralded by the return of the birds, and the early mornings are strangely silent where once they were filled with the beauty of bird song.”
       – Rachel Carson, Silent Spring

Wildlife Acoustics at sea, land…and now sky with BBC Cloud Lab expedition!

Wildlife Acoustics at sea, land…and now sky with BBC Cloud Lab expedition!

Not too long ago, we announced that the revolutionary solar-powered research ship, MS Tûranor PlanetSolar had embarked from Boston on its DeepWater Expedition along the Gulf Stream with a Wildlife Acoustics SM2+ bioacoustics recorder and hydrophone in tow.

Now, we are taking it to the skies with the amazing BBC Cloud Lab airship expedition. Starting off from Cape Canaveral and ending in San Francisco, the month-long trip will take a group of scientists over oceans, wetlands, drylands, and deserts. Bat researcher, Jennifer Krauel will be using Wildlife Acoustics SM2BAT+ to study bats and high-flying insects. Jennifer KrauelThe BBC2 crew will film her studies while the ship is above Frio cave in Texas, which is expected to be around the end of October. In a recent blog post, Krauel explains in detail how she tested the device on the airship using various microphone cables and fishing weights. In addition to recording bat passes, Krauel has also installed an insect net outside the ship to collect insect samples. The net has a pouch in the back so that scientists will be able to remove and collect insect samples throughout the trip.

Be sure to stay tuned for updates on the expedition!

Wildlife Acoustics is proud to support wildlife conservation efforts

Merlin Tuttle's Bat Conservation Orginization for Bat Conservation Bat Conservation International Bat Conservation Trust Wildlife Habitat Counsil