Job Board Highlights

Looking for Contributors -Contact us, if you would like to profile new studies related to your area of interest.

Sign up for our newsletter - We profile the latest conservation studies from over 100 journals plus new funding opportunities... straight to your email.


Automating bird surveys with remote sensors

As technology makes jobs obsolete - from the gas station attendant to the VCR repairman to the travel agent - a new article in the journal Ecological Informatics foretells a possible future scenario in which the position of "research assistant" sits next-on-the-chopping-block.

Eric Kasten and fellow scientists from the Remote Environmental Assessment Laboratory at Michigan State University have developed and tested an automated system for remotely surveying birds based on their vocalizations.

The ecological sensory system of the Remote Environmental Assessment Laboratory. Image credit, REAL.The system involves using pole-mounted, remote sensors to collect ongoing acoustic data. These continuous data streams are automatically processed across data pipelines to distill meaningful acoustic sequences - what the authors term 'Ensembles."

A program called MEMO - a perceptual memory system - then analyzes these ensembles to identify the species present. While this automated approach was developed specifically to monitor birds, the method is likely applicable to other groups of animals that are subject to acoustic surveys.

The researchers tested the system across 10 avian species and found a fairly high level of accuracy - over 70% - in classifying the birds. They note that combining this acoustical data with other environmental information (e.g. temperature, humidity, etc) might further enhance the predictive capacity of the system.

Thinking further into the future, one can imagine an automated ecological monitoring system that integrates a wide variety of biological and physical data streams to assess the health of ecosystems in real time. The authors write,

"Monitoring the health of an ecosystem will require the acquisition and correlation of data from many sensors to capture the complex behavior afforded by multiple interacting systems and organisms."

--Reviewed by Rob Goldstein

**Stuart Gage, Jordan Fox, Wooyeong Joo and Philip McKinley also collaborated on this research along with Eric Kasten (mentioned above).

Kasten, E., McKinley, P., & Gage, S. (2010). Ensemble Extraction for Classification and Detection of Bird Species☆ Ecological Informatics DOI: 10.1016/j.ecoinf.2010.02.003

EmailEmail Article to Friend

References (2)

References allow you to track sources for this article, as well as articles that were written in response to this article.
  • Response
    Response: casio 修理
    casio カシオ
  • Response
    Response: Airul

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
All HTML will be escaped. Hyperlinks will be created for URLs automatically.