Conventional agriculture is the leading cause of habitat and biodiversity loss in the world. In the Neotropics of Belize, slash-and-burn and subsistence farming are some of the main factors causing habitat degradation and loss. Dr. Bruce Miller and the Toucan Ridge Ecology and Education Society (T.R.E.E.S.) will use Song Meter Mini Bats to study how species diversity, relative abundance, and the foraging activity of bats are affected by different agricultural land management practices in Belize.
While the study of bird migration has increased exponentially, current knowledge about nocturnal bird migration is limited. Cristian Pérez Granados and the Instituto Multidisciplinar para el Estudio del Medio Ramón Margalef at the University of Alicante in Spain will use Song Meter Minis to monitor nocturnal bird migration. This project will assess whether soundscape indices (as a proxy of bird diversity), estimated from nocturnal sound recordings, are related to migrating bird diversity. In addition, the project will study the hourly and seasonal patterns of nocturnal bird migration in three Mediterranean islands to help propose effective conservation measures.
Fewer than 15% of Tasmania's threatened species, and a much lower proportion of its other species, are monitored to assess whether conservation efforts are adequate and effective. Yet, for many, known and potential threats are increasing and changing across this Australian island state. A pilot project led by Dr. Clare Hawkins and Bookend Trust Fund (Pennicott Foundation) will use Song Meter Mini Bats as a trial for monitoring bats and bitterns. Ultimately, this project hopes to establish long-term acoustic monitoring across Tasmania, improving conservation effectiveness and public engagement in conservation efforts.
Owls in the Southern Yungas depend on tree hollows for nesting. Owl populations have been affected by forest logging, which has continued to escalate over the years. Maila Scheffer and the Foundation for the Conservation and Study of Biodiversity (CEBio) will use Kaleidoscope Pro to study the impact of human activity on the distribution, ecology, and habitat requirements of owl species. This effort will help identify priority areas for conservation and determine long-term conservation strategies for owl species in the Southern Yungas of Argentina.
Crowdsourced citizen scientist data is showing a noticeable decrease in non-arboreal frogs in the St. Louis urban and suburban areas. Mike Dawson and the Saint Louis Zoo plan to use Kaleidoscope Pro to study urban frog populations in hopes of increasing the urban amphibian diversity in St. Louis by reestablishing viable and sustainable breeding populations of Spring Peepers, Western Chorus Frogs, and Cricket Frogs in the watersheds located within the Interstate 270 beltway.
We know that anthropogenic sounds can impact an individual bird’s calling behavior. However, it is less clear whether human noises disrupt important social communications such as alarm calls, and how that impact might be felt. With an innovative triangulation approach, Faiza Hafeez from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, will use Song Meter SM4TS recorders to map alarm calls as they propagate through colonies of individually-identifiable red-winged blackbirds. Demonstrating this method can accurately map a species’ communication network will be the first stage to more fully understanding the impacts of noise pollution on wildlife.
High rates of deforestation in Brazil’s Eastern Amazonia region has left rare and threatened birds living in just a few remnants of primary forest. Identifying which forest fragments are most important for conservation action is no easy task. Indeed, one species, the Belem Curassow, is so secretive it was thought to be extinct until 2013. Pablo Vieira Cerqueira from the Universidade Federal do Pará will use Song Meter SM4 recorders coupled with the clustering feature in Kaleidoscope Pro to find and monitor 15 bird species, including the Belem Curassow and the critically endangered Black-winged Trumpeter. The project will also create a record of the soundscapes of these threatened habitats and will use sound recordings in its outreach work.
African Wild Dogs are highly endangered. Approaches to their conservation include translocation and forming artificial packs, requiring periods in captivity. Appeasement pheromones are a potential way to reduce stress and aggression in captive dogs. Pia Riddell from James Cook University will use Kaleidoscope Pro’s clustering feature to compare vocalizations in packs with and without exposure to the pheromones. She hopes ultimately to determine whether vocalizations can be used as an indicator of the social cohesion of an African Wild Dog pack.