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‘AudioMoth’ device aims to deliver low-cost, power-efficient monitoring of remote landscapes

08 / 01 / 2018, Mongabaycom News

Researchers in the UK who have developed a low-power, open-source acoustic monitoring device say it shows promise for monitoring wildlife and illicit incursions by mankind into remote habitats. The team behind the AudioMoth wrote in a study published in the journal Methods in Ecology and Evolution last month detailing the results of proof-of-concept trials for the device that it was designed to overcome some of the barriers to effective remote monitoring of biodiversity: “The cost, usability and power efficiency of available wildlife monitoring equipment currently inhibits full ground-level coverage of many natural systems.” The AudioMoth was created by two computer science PhD students at the University of Southampton, Andrew Hill and Peter Prince, together with Alex Rogers, a professor at the University of Oxford. The researchers say that the device, which is about the size of a matchbox, can be made for as little as $43 per unit — a price-point that could be key to ensuring coverage across large landscapes, where numerous monitoring devices are required. What’s more, each AudioMoth unit can be programmed to monitor wildlife populations by recording the calls of specific target species while at the same time serving as an alert system when the sounds of human exploitation, such as the blast of a shotgun or the roar of a chainsaw, are detected. Evelyn Piña Covarrubias, a PhD student in biology at the University of Southampton and a co-author of the Methods in Ecology and Evolution study, told Mongabay that the device was named AudioMoth…

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