Fundamental to biodiversity monitoring
The British Ecological Society (BES) is hosting a free, online workshop through its open platform Applied Ecology Resources (AER) on ‘why and how to set up a successful ecoacoustics study’. The webinar takes place on Thursday 19th October at 13:00 BST/08:00 ET.
Chaired by Paul Howden-Leach, an ecological consultant at Wildlife Acoustics, the upcoming webinar will highlight the lack of consensus on which recording and analysis protocols to follow, partly a result of differing requirements of each ecoacoustic research project, but also a historical artefact of the tropical origins of much of this research.
The recently published State of Nature Report 2023 has revealed that one in six species and 43% of bird species in Great Britain are at risk of extinction, causing significant concern amongst leading wildlife experts over sustained habitat loss.
Ecoacoustics has great potential as a cost-effective method for long-term biodiversity monitoring and in the last five years, ecoacoustics as an innovative environmental discipline has enjoyed immense growth. However, to maximise ecoacoustics’ efficacy, the standardisation of survey protocols is necessary to ensure data are comparable and permit reliable inferences.
The upcoming webinar will outline a basic long-term acoustic monitoring protocol that can be adapted to suit a range of projects according to specific objectives and size.
Dr. Oliver Metcalf, Conservation Scientist at Lancaster University, is the webinar’s speaker and will share the results of the latest collaborative project between Baker Consultants, the Manchester Metropolitan University, the UK Acoustics Network (UKAN) and others, that created guidelines for approaching ecoacoustic research, also sharing how these guidelines can be practically followed for successful project outcomes.
Commenting on the webinar, Dr. Metcalf said: “I’m pleased to be sharing the ’UKAN+ good practice guidelines for long-term ecoacoustic monitoring in the UK’. Ecoacoustics is a rapidly developing method that is being applied to all sorts of environments and wildlife in the UK in a range of exciting and novel ways. These monitoring programs have the ability to inform long-term, sustainable conservation that can help reverse the rapid and drastic loss of diversity highlighted in the latest state of nature report. However, a lack of standardisation around recording and analysis protocols are most effective can threaten the efficacy of the method, leading to a loss of learning through incomparable data. This webinar presents the results of a collaborative effort amongst the UK ecoacoustics community across academia, industry, government and the conservation sector to confront this issue head-on to enable consistent, effective ecoacoustics monitoring in future.”
Baker Consultants is an AER Member and have made their guidelines freely available on AER: Good practice guidelines for long-term ecoacoustic monitoring in the UK.
To attend the upcoming ecoacoustics webinar, please register before 13:00 BST on Wednesday 19th October here.