Dr. Florencia Sangermano
Clark University, Worcester, MA USA
Linking satellites to landscape acoustics
Clark University’s Dr. Florencia Sangermano is a geographer specializing in conservation applications of geographic information systems (GIS), remote sensing and landscape ecology. Her work is designed to support conservation planning and ecosystems management.
Dr. Sangermano uses satellites to monitor large portions of the earth in a cost-effective, continuous way at multiple scales. Satellite images can be used to generate Essential Biodiversity Variables (SRS - EBVs), which are fundamental to monitor biodiversity change at multiple scales over space and time.
Florencia is combining the Satellite Remote Sensing with acoustic data as cost-effective means of calibrating SRS-EVBs to create a picture of habitat quality. She explains, “In order to develop an effective regional SRS-EBV, it’s critical to understand how landscape acoustics are related to satellite derived measurements of ecosystem structure.”
The Clark University team will trial this research technique, combining satellite imagery and acoustic data, for the first time in the Rurrenabaque region of Bolivia. Acoustic data will be collected with Song Meter SM4 wildlife recorders and analyzed with Kaleidoscope Pro analysis software. The information will allow researchers to identify how deforestation resulting from agricultural practices affects the region’s soundscapes and will be integrated with SRS-EBVs for the sake of monitoring ecosystem health and status at regional scales.
Dr. Mark Hulme
University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago
Conserving the critically endangered Pawi (Trinidad Piping Guan, Pipile pipile)
The critically endangered Trinidad Piping Guan or Pawi is the only species of bird endemic to the island of Trinidad. Restricted to moist forested habitat, the population has been estimated between 70 and 200 individuals – and the estimate is suspect as it is based on old (nearly 20 years old), sparse data and a methodology not suited to this arboreal bird. There is an urgent requirement for a more up-to-date and accurate distribution assessment.
Pawi are difficult to visually detect and live in challenging forest terrain to survey. However, the Pawi has a distinctive piping call and wing drumming behavior. For the first time ever in the Northern Range forests of Trinidad and Tobago, Dr. Mark Hulme and his researchers will use audio recordings to survey the distribution of this elusive species. The recordings will be analyzed using Wildlife Acoustics’ Kaleidoscope Pro 5 software.
The results will form the basis of an expansion of the Pawi survey from estimating the current distribution in the Northern Range to a preliminary abundance estimate and eventually a full population estimate once all suitable habitat on the island have been covered.
It is hoped that this research will inform and inspire similar methodologies for this bird and other cryptic Galliformes in Latin America and the rest of the world.