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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

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Acoustic Monitoring: Assoc for Env Studies 2009

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