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The highly toxic Asian toad (Duttaphrynus melanostictus) is invasive in Madagascar, and may pose significant risks to native Malagasy species which are endemic to the island and are already in decline due to deforestation. A key component of the control programme for Asian toads is to quickly identify the presence of toads in forest fragments which are home to these vulnerable species, and ultimately aim to eliminate the toad from these areas. Dr. Ben Muller and the Madagascar Fauna and Flora Group (MFG) will use Song Meter Mini acoustic recorders and Kaleidoscope analysis software to locate, monitor, and help eradicate the toad from Parc Ivoloina - a forest fragment which is a biodiversity haven within the current Asian toad incursion in Madagascar.
The Universidad Nacional de Asunción (UNA) campus in San Lorenzo Paraguay has been designated as an Area of Importance for the Conservation of Bats. María Belén Barreto will be working with researchers, students, and collaborators to update existing diversity data of the bat species present on the UNA campus. Past studies have relied primarily on mist net captures which have consistently undercounted higher flying species. The team will utilize Song Meter SM4BAT FS and Echo Meter Touch 2 PRO bat detectors and the Kaleidoscope analysis software to create a baseline which will be used in the development of a program for the conservation of urban bats in the area.
Whitebark pine is declining, and evidence suggests this decline is leading to a downward trend in local nutcracker populations, which would in-turn decrease whitebark pine regeneration, because these trees depend on nutcrackers to disperse their wingless seeds. In 2020, we began working with Central Washington University students, using acoustic monitors to quantify how nutcracker occupancy relates to habitat metrics, with the long-term goal to developing, launching and maintaining an ongoing, range-wide citizen science project. After using Kaleidoscope Pro to analyze thousands of days of acoustic data, our results will help inform whitebark pine management plans by aiding in identifying and prioritizing areas for whitebark pine restoration.
The largest reedbeds in the world are in the Danube Delta of Romania. Studying birds in this critical area is complicated by difficult travel and specifically the inability to use boats at night or in the early morning when birds are roosting. Emanuel Stefan Baltag, PhD, will be using Song Meter SM4 recorders to capture the calls of birds in this area without having to be present during these hours. The recordings will then be analyzed using Kaleidoscope to understand population densities and correlate those with habitat influences. The results of this study will contribute to conservation measures as part of the management plan of the Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve (DDBR).
Illegal livestock grazing is a worldwide threat to wildlife, both directly through competition for food resources and disease transmission and indirectly through forest degradation and spread of invasive species. Detecting illegal grazing has often been done using camera traps, but these devices have limitations including angle of detection and range. Nina Flowers is testing the use of acoustics in this type of analysis using Song Meter Mini recorders at a study site in Madagascar. The results of this study will help researchers understand if camera traps, acoustic recorders, or a combination of the two will best detect this type of activity. The results of the work will also be shared with Madagascar National Parks to advise in grazing management.
When plants are damaged by insects, they release a distinct blend of compounds to attract natural enemies, including carnivorous insects and birds. However, it is undocumented if insectivorous bats are also responding to these chemical cues. Using the Song Meter Mini Bat and Kaleidoscope Pro, this project will determine if insect-damaged plants are indirectly communicating with insectivorous bats, answering both ecological and behavioral questions integral to wildlife conservation and sustainable agriculture.
The results of this study will help develop integrated pest management (IPM) applications with synthetic forms of target compounds as a strategy to control pest species in agriculture.
Kenya is one of the world richest in terms of biodiversity and hosts about 10% of global bat species. Unfortunately, its rapid urban expansion threaten survival of bats and other wildlife that underpin ecosystem services within and outside urban centres.
By conducting an ecological study on bats, Bernard Agwanda and National Museums of Kenya (NMK) will be able to present their findings to the government and hopefully prove the value of parks and gardens in urban areas in heritage conservation. Agwanda and his team also hope to establish a national bat call directory to supplement natural history and DNA collections to support education, conservation and research.
Caroline Rowley is the director of the Endangered Primate Research Center (EPRC) located in Cuc Phuong National Park (CPNP) Vietnam. She and her team are using SM4BAT FS and Echo Meter Touch 2 Pro ultrasonic recorders to monitor lorises in CPNP including those that have been rescued from wildlife trafficking, rehabilitated, and released into the wild.
They hope to improve the release process through increased knowledge of the wild loris population in the park and their habitat preferences.
SM4BAT FS recorders will be paired with camera traps for long term studies to estimate the population density and gauge increases or decreases of the loris population in CPNP over time.This will help direct and validate the release program and improve the tracking capability for released lorises.
Echo Meter Touch 2 Pro recorders will be used while radio tracking the lorises. The tagged animals will be tracked acoustically also, increasing the chances of locating them, and gathering information on other individuals that might be in the area.
Unseen for 75 years, the Blue-eyed Ground-dove, one of the rarest birds in the world, was rediscovered in 2015 in Botumirim Brazil. Biologist Albert Aguiar and his coworkers at SAVE Brasil’s team are working to save this species and are using acoustics to help. Kaleidoscope’s clustering technology allows Albert to analyze almost 1500 hours of recordings per year, looking for the rare calls of the dove. These recordings will then allow him to understand the current population and the consequences of removing eggs or adults for captive breeding or translocation. He is also looking for population trends and predators. Clustering is a perfect tool for his work as it will help to find these rare calls among all the other sounds of the nature reserve where these animals live.