Wildlife Acoustics Blog

SM2+

How should I save, in .wac or in .wav?

How should I save, in .wac or in .wav?

If you have used our ultrasonic Song Meters before, you may be familiar with two different options for saving our recordings, triggered .wav, and our proprietary compressed format, .wac. While we recommend triggered .wav format in almost all cases, there are a few instances where it may benefit you to use .wac format instead.

  • First, we recommend our ultrasonic users record to triggered .wav format for several reasons:
    Triggered .wav format comes with noise scrubbing capability, which allows for more accurate triggers. This means you won’t be wasting card space with recordings that have been falsely triggered by non-animal noises, such as rain. Though .wac files takes up less space than .wav, this could actually offset the amount of space that would have been saved recording in a compressed format if you are in an area prone to ultrasonic noise.
  • Wav is 30% more energy efficient than .wac and can be used directly for ZC analysis
  • If you are using a Song Meter SM3, you will have automatically embedded metadata in your .wav files.

So when is it preferable to use .wac?

If you are interested in GPS tracking, you may find it more valuable to record to the .wac format. .Wac recordings take GPS information every second, allowing for continuous tracking data. While some GPS data is available with .wav, you will have fewer data points than in .wac.

Another advantage of .wac is independent triggering. If you are recording different species on different channels, you may want only one channel to trigger at once. For example, you may want to record birds on one channel, and bats on another. You wouldn’t want bats to trigger recording on both channels if there won’t be another birds to record for several hours. In situations such as these, the .wac format will be much more space saving than .wav.

Male Birds Sing for Their Fertile Female Neighbors Too: A Song Meter Case Study

Male Birds Sing for Their Fertile Female Neighbors Too: A Song Meter Case Study

While most bird studies on sexual signaling have focused on between-pair interactions, Conor Taff has instead looked outward.

Taff, whose research has just been published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, deployed 5 song meters across multiple territories to study male calling behavior in relation to the fertility of female birds in neighboring territories. His findings suggest that birds' sexual signaling behavior is much more complex than we may have thought.

Taff’s paper, Fluctuations in Neighbourhood Fertility Generate Variable Signalling Effort, discusses how male common yellowthroats adjust song production in response to changes not only in within-pair social contexts, but also to changes in the fertility of neighboring females up to 400 meters away.

SM2+ in the classroom: MARA Project

SM2+ in the classroom: MARA Project

In Maryland, a group of 1300 amateur scientists have teamed up to document species of amphibians and reptiles by using high tech acoustic monitoring devices and mapping technology. They’re the seventh graders of Calvert County School System and they’re an integral part of the Maryland Amphibian and Reptile Atlas.

MARA is a five-year project created by the Natural History Society of Maryland and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources to document the current distributions of amphibians and reptiles in the state. The information will be used as a baseline to determine future changes in distribution of herpetofauna. The project relies heavily on the participation of citizen scientists, such as the students of Calvert county, to report sightings and log locations of amphibians and reptiles.

Wildlife Acoustics SM2+ bioacoustics recorders are placed just outside of the schools to record amphibian vocalizations. Periodically, students listen back and analyze the vocalizations right in their classrooms. The location and identity of the species are then logged in the MARA database. They even have an impressive blog full of photos, stories, and updates called their Frog Blog.

Wildlife Acoustics is proud to support wildlife conservation efforts

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