ScienceTalk

How listening ears can help save the forests

A view of the Mamiraua Sustainable Development Reserve in Brazil's Amazonas state. The beauty of bioacoustic data, the writer says, is that researchers can run algorithms to map soundscapes, allowing us to better understand ecological communities and
A view of the Mamiraua Sustainable Development Reserve in Brazil's Amazonas state. The beauty of bioacoustic data, the writer says, is that researchers can run algorithms to map soundscapes, allowing us to better understand ecological communities and monitor change over time, including the impacts of drought, storms and seasonality.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Acoustic recorders can detect minute changes in environment

Our eyes in the sky have revolutionised forest monitoring, giving us a big picture of the state and health of the planet's green spaces.

But while satellites measure tree cover, most do not capture what happens under the canopy, such as poaching, incursions from invasive species, degradation from selective logging, and understorey fires.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 05, 2019, with the headline 'How listening ears can help save the forests'. Print Edition | Subscribe