Podcast: A bittersweet bioacoustics bonanza

Podcast: A bittersweet bioacoustics bonanza

  • After six years and 150+ episodes, podcast host Mike Gaworecki is putting his microphone down. The show will go on, but will miss his expertise and command of conservation science’s myriad facets.
  • One of his favorite topics to cover on the show over the years has been bioacoustics, the use of acoustic recording technology to study the behavior, distribution, and abundance of wildlife.
  • For his final episode hosting the Mongabay Newscast, Mike shares an array of his favorite bioacoustics interviews that illustrate the breadth and potential of this powerful conservation technology.
  • Over half a million downloads later, listen to his bittersweet farewell thoughts, and the range of recordings–from forest elephants to the Big Apple’s resident dolphins–he shares, here on this page, or find the Mongabay Newscast via your favorite podcast provider.

One of the most promising conservation technologies emerging in recent years is bioacoustics – the use of acoustic recording technologies to study the behavior, distribution, and abundance of wildlife – and this episode of the Mongabay Newscast shares an array of favorite interviews and wildlife recordings that illustrate the breadth and potential of this powerful conservation technology.

Listen here:

Like other sorts of sensing technology—satellite imagery of forests, for instance—the field of bioacoustics has been a game changer when it comes to discovering new things about natural systems. As with the monitoring of forests from above, listening to ecosystems via bioacoustics reveals much about the animals living in such places, and threats they face like illegal hunting, fishing, or logging.

Combined with camera trapping, scientists and conservationists are now able to learn a lot about ecosystems without even being present.

Here’s the full audio of the very popular episode in May 2020 discussed on this episode, which featured recordings of forest elephants at a bai in Central African Republic:

Another foundational episode from 2018 featured a discussion of soundscape phenology and the emerging role it’s playing in the study of animal behavior and landscape ecology, hear that here:

Listeners interested in soundscapes and bioacoustics can explore more examples here:

• Audio: The sounds of tropical katydids and how they can benefit conservation

• Audio: How listening to individual gibbons can benefit conservation

• Audio: What underwater sounds can tell us about Indian Ocean humpback dolphins

• Audio: The superb mimicry skills of an Australian songbird

A calf attempts to sneak its trunk into a mineral pit that mom is drinking from at a bai in Africa: protest calls are often heard from calves on bioacoustics recordings, as the mother sometimes pushes the young ones away, and they in turn express their displeasure with a little yell. Photo courtesy of Ana Verahrami, Elephant Listening Project.

Subscribe to or follow the Mongabay Newscast wherever you get your podcasts, from Apple to Spotify, you can also listen to all episodes here on the Mongabay website or download our free app for Apple and Android devices to gain fingertip access to new shows and all our previous episodes.

Keep in touch with Mike Gaworecki via Twitter here: @mikeg2001

Banner image: A sound file revealing rich data on biodiversity. Image by Rhett Butler for Mongabay.

See related:

Big bioacoustics boost: Cornell University program receives $24 million donation



This story first appeared on Mongabay

South Africa Today – Environment

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