Acoustic Monitoring: Assoc for Env Studies 2009
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Acoustic Monitoring: Assoc for Env Studies 2009

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overview of the ways that acoustic monitoring is being used by researchers and agencies to asses populations, guide policy, and monitor effects of human noise on wildlife

overview of the ways that acoustic monitoring is being used by researchers and agencies to asses populations, guide policy, and monitor effects of human noise on wildlife

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  • 1. AESS Annual Meeting 2009 Environment: The Interdisciplinary Challenge
    Acoustic Habitats:Sound Monitoring and Effects on Wildlife
    Jim Cummings cummings@acousticecology.org AcousticEcology.org
  • 2. Acoustic monitoring
    Sound budgets
    Effects of noise
    Future directions
  • 3. Acoustic monitoringPopulation distribution studiesMany species far easier to hear than to see
  • 4. Acoustic monitoringWho is present? Seasonal patterns? Annual changes?
    Aug to May
    Frog Calls, by Species
    Blue Whale Calls VaryThrough Feeding Season
    Elk Bugling Week by Week in Fall
    Annual variation
  • 5. Acoustic monitoringStudying baseline behavior patternsin species of concern
    Beaked whales
    Especially sensitive to Navy sonar
    Dive and vocalizing patterns
  • 6. Acoustic monitoringStudying baseline behavior patternsin species of concern
    Elephants
    Social interactions
    Long-range low frequency communication
    Habitat use / population distribution
  • 7. Acoustic monitoringAgencies play key role
    NPS
    Internal
    Contractors
    Volunteers
    Navy
    Funding academics
    Instrumented ranges
    SOSUS data
    NOAA
    Research funding, regulatory oversight, international research coordination
  • 8. Sound BudgetsWhat is the mix of natural and human sounds?Where/when are various sounds present?
    Hear more fromDenise Risch
  • 9. Sound BudgetsBiophony: A measure of the health of habitat
    Hear more fromStuart Gage
  • 10. Sound BudgetsIdentifying areas where “natural quiet” remains
    Desert parks: overflights, backcountry vehicles
    Antarctica: increasing cruise ships
  • 11. Sound BudgetsIdentifying areas where “natural quiet” remains
    Current BC study:
    Popups recording ambient sound levels for several months in areas with different amounts of development, shipping
  • 12. Sound BudgetsMetrics and Protocols for assessing noise impacts
    Key metrics:
    Percent Time Audible
    Noise-free interval
    Protocols:
    Observers and/or recordings, noting as they are audible:
    Vehicles
    Sources of natural sound:birds, water, wind, rain, etc.
    Voices of hikers
    Note: Data from 2000,before snowmobile limits
    Hear more fromFrank Turina
  • 13. Effects of noise on wildlifeIncreasing scientific interest & regulatory scrutinySome behaviors/species affected at audibility/near ambientOthers seemingly more adaptable/resilient
  • 14. Effects on terrestrial wildlifeAcoustic impacts on the research/regulatory agenda
    Initial intrusions into “natural quiet”
    Acoustic edge effects
    Interference with key behavior
    or exclusion from territory
  • 15. Effects on terrestrial wildlifeMasking: Affects prey and predators
    Importance of sounds
    at limits of audibility:
    Moderate ambient background noise has measurable impact on animals’ energy budgets
    Lost opportunities
    Increased
    vigilance
    Can’t hear soft rustling of prey
    Work harder to hear predators approach
  • 16. Effects of ocean noise5-10 yrs ago: physical impacts (injury/death)Very rare, but dramatic
    Sonar strandings spur public outcry and better Navy observation/mitigation procedures
    Much legal and research effort on apparent anomalies — yet serves to draw attention to these loud sounds, with deaths being just tip of iceberg
  • 17. Effects of ocean noisePast 2-3 yrs: awareness of subtler behavioral effectsFar more common, widespread — larger long-term impacts
    New acoustic tags to record received levelsand how that changes dive profiles
    IMO, NMFS, EU address shipping noise
    Series of reports on behavioral responses to noise: IWC, DFO, EU, NOAA
  • 18. Effects of ocean noiseShipping: Decreasing whale communication ranges
    Global background ambient rising3-5dB/decade 10x-100x increase since 1950
    IMO ship quieting: loudest 10% —> 50-90% of total noise?
    NOAA Int’l Workshop/IWC target: 3dB reduction in 10 years
  • 19. Effects of NoiseKey research questions and challenges
    Difficult research issues: data interpretation
    This chart compiles all studies of behavioral responses of baleen whales to airguns and sonar
    No cleardose-responseto noise
    120dB: dramatic increase/concentration of fairly significant changes
    Yet also….
    150-160dB: responses range 0 to 7 on the severity scale
    160+dB: severity of response clusters at 0 and 6
  • 20. Effects of NoiseKey research questions and challenges
    Subtle yet high-impact physiological effects
    Synergistic effects
    Foraging disruptions
    3x-higher energy cost (less energy intake)
    than energy spent in avoiding noise
    Noise-induced stress increases physiological effectsof toxins, nutritional deficits, etc.
  • 21. Future Directions in Acoustic Monitoring
    Polar Bears
    Low-frequency construction noise in dens
    Freshwater fish
    Detecting species
    Population assessments
  • 22. Future Directions in Acoustic Monitoring
    Wind Farms
    Identifying conditions that lead to clusters of complaints
    Topography / Geology
    Atmospheric conditions
    Setback distances
  • 23. Future Directions in Acoustic Monitoring
    Ocean Gliders
    1000-2500 km range
    Months on own at sea
    Easy, cheap platform for ocean sound budget research
  • 24. Future Directions in Acoustic Monitoring
    Ever cheaper autonomous recording systems
    Flash-based recorders: low power, long field operation
    Improving automated call recognition algorithms
    Can add valuable acoustic perspective in many types of restoration projects, habitat studies
  • 25. Thanks!NPSNOAAWCPRWWAONCOCRUSNAEUBWFAEDFOWDCSNRDCAESS
    Jew's/Judas/jelly earAuricularia auricula-judae
    Listen close,
    the sound gets better
    Gary Snyder, Mountains and Rivers Without End