Rob & Tara Cahill
Community Cloud Forest Conservation
Community Cloud Forest Conservation (CCFC) is working with remote mountain villages in Guatemala’s central highlands to protect forests, biodiversity and the integrity of ecosystems. All 150 villages within CCFC’s work area border cloud forests or cloud forest fragments. CCFC’s work combines forest protection, reforestation, food security, agroecology and environmental education. Through schools students and their families, CCFC is facilitating the establishment of agroforestry parcels by small holder farmers as an alternative to slash and burn, mono-crop agriculture. We expect that agroforest parcels contribute to biodiversity conservation by restoring beneficial wildlife habitat, while at the same time providing food security and economic benefit to people in the mountain villages.
The local availability of a wide variety of native tree species encourage complex stratification of the parcels. Vertical structure with emergent trees, canopy, mid-story and fruit bearing shrub layer not only enhance habitat in degraded landscapes but provide small holder farmers with a diversity of resources. These multi-strata parcels mature into agroforest ecosystems. The diverse vertical structure of these small parcels supports many living things. CCFC gives small holder farmers access to heirloom and traditional crops to incorporate into the agroforest ecosystem. These parcels are economically viable, nutritionally beneficial, environmentally sustainable and culturally acceptable. But do they support biodiversity and are they hospitable to endemic species of special conservation concern? In other words, are these agroforest ecosystems a plus for biodiversity conservation?
Using a full spectrum bio-acoustics approach to assess biodiversity, CCFC is creating an occupancy model through presence / absence analysis.
CCFC currently has three researchers working on this project.
Enno Sonntag of the University of Copenhagen, Denmark. Enno’s research is his master’s degree dissertation in the faculty of agricultural development. Enno is studying agroforest ecosystems and cardamom production. Enno dispatched three Wildlife Acoustics™ Song Meters (SM4) in three cardamom growing parcels, for 20 days, collecting 50GBs of sound data. Using Wildlife Acoustics’s Kaleidoscope™ (5.0.3), Enno is currently working with an international team of bird specialists to identify specific species to create an occupancy model through presence / absence analysis.
Rowland Griffin of Indigo Expeditions, and Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology, University of Kent, Canterbury, United Kingdom and Matthew Hulse of the University of Liverpool, United Kingdom dispatched three Wildlife Acoustics™ Song Meters (SM4) in a wide variety of habitats including agroforestry parcels and reforestation plots. Griffin and Hulse are focusing on endemic tree frogs, identifying specific species through bioacoustic analysis to create an occupancy model through presence / absence analysis.
Tara Cahill (MS Land Resources, Environmental Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison) is creating a database of confirmed identifications of a biophony from all CCFC bioacoustic researchers to enhance Kaleidoscope’s™ functionality.
Thanks to this generous grant from Wildlife Acoustics™ CCFC is utilizing Kaleidoscope in the agroecosystem project. Wildlife Acoustics video tutorials are really helpful. We assembled a team of seven experts to help with sound analysis. With the help of Google Hangouts and screen sharing, we were able to hold a sound ID meeting between experts in Coban, Alta
Verapaz; Purulha, Baja Verapaz; Santa Rosa, Colombia; Chicago, Illinois. The recordings are very clear. The team is able to identify most species by their familiarity
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