Acoustics / Feed

Acoustic monitoring is one of our biggest and most active groups, with members collecting, analysing, and interpreting acoustic data from across species, ecosystems, and applications, from animal vocalizations to sounds from our natural and built environment


WILDLABS AWARDS 2024 - Fostering bat conservation and citizen science in Zimbabwe: Establishing bat groups and training individuals to use bat detectors

Through our project, awarded by the WILDLABS Awards 2024, we aim to establish three bat groups across Zimbabwe. These groups will be trained to use Echo Meter Touch 2 Pro bat...

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Drop-deployed HydroMoth

Hi all, I'm looking to deploy a HydroMoth, on a drop-deployed frame, from a stationary USV, alongside a suite of marine chemical sensors, to add biodiversity collection to our...

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Hi Sol! This seems like an awesome project! I have a few questions in response: Where were you thinking of deploying this payload and for how long? 

Regarding hydromoth recorders, there have been several concerns that have popped up in my work with deploying the them at this depth because it's a contact type hydrophone which means it utilizes the case to transmit the sound vibrations of the marine soundscape to the microphone unlike the piezo element based hydrophones. 

  • At 30-60m you will likely have the case leak after an extended period of time if not immediately. The O-ring will deform at this depth, especially around the hinge of the housing. The square prism shape is not ideal for deep deployments you describe.  
  • After that depth and really starting at about 50m, a major concern is synthetic implosion from the small air pocket of the hydromoth not having a pressure release valve and lithium ion batteries getting exposed to salt water. This type of reaction would cause your other instruments to probably break or fail as well. 
  • You are unlikely to get a signal with a reinforced enclosure. The signal is generated via the material and geometry of the housing. The plastic will probably deform and mess with your frequency response and sound to noise ratio. If you place it against metal, it will dampen the sound quite a lot. We tried to do this, but the sensitivity is quite low with a large amount of self noise. 
  • A side note: for biodiversity assessments, the hydromoth is not characterized and is highly directional, so you wouldn't be able to compare sites through your standard aocustic indices like ACI and SPL.  

    That said if you are deploying for a short time, a hydrophone like an Aquarian H1a attached through a penetrator of a blue robotics housing that contains a field recorder like a zoom recorder may be optimal for half a day and be relatively cheaper than some of the other options. You could also add another battery pack in parrallel for a longer duration. 


Hi Matthew,

Thanks for your advice, this is really helpful!

I'm planning to use it in a seagrass meadow survey for a series of ~20 drops/sites to around 30 m, recording for around 10 minutes each time, in Cornwall, UK.

At this stage I reckon we won't exceed 30 m, but based on your advice, I think this sounds like not the best setup for the surveys we want to try.

We will try the Aquarian H1a, attached to the Zoom H1e unit, through a PVC case. This is what Aquarian recommended to me when I contacted them too.

Thanks for the advice, to be honest the software component is what I was most interested in when it came to the AudioMoth- is there any other open source software you would recommend for this?

Best wishes,


Hey Sol, 

No problem at all. Depending on your configuration, the Audiomoth software would have to work on a PCB with an ESP32 chip which is the unit on the audiomoth/hydromoth, so you would have to make a PCB centered around this chip. You could mimic the functionality of the audiomoth software on another chip, like on a raspberry pi with python's pyaudio library for example. The problem you would have is that the H1A requires phantom power, so it's not plug and play. I'm not too aware with the H1e, but maybe you can control the microphone through the recorder that is programmable through activations by the RPi (not that this is the most efficient MCU for this application, but it is user friendly). A simpler solution might be to just record continuously and play a sound or take notes of when your 10 min deployment starts. I think it should last you >6 hours with a set of lithium energizer batteries. You may want to think about putting a penetrator on the PVC housing for a push button or switch to start when you deploy. They make a few waterproof options. 

Just somethign else that occured to me, but if you're dropping these systems, you'll want to ensure that the system isn't wobbling in the seagrass as that will probably be all you will hear on the recordings, especially if you plan to deploy shallower. For my studies in Curacao, we aim to be 5lbs negative, but this all depends on your current and surface action. You might also want to think about the time of day you're recording biodiversity in general. I may suggest recording the site for a bit (a couple days or a week) prior to your study to see what you should account for (e.g. tide flow/current/anthropogenic disturbance) and determine diel patterning of vocalizations you are aiming to collect if subsampling at 10 minutes. 



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Thoughts on RooBadge?

I came across this new Volkswagen initiative today, RooBadge, a vehicular kangaroo deterrent that uses telemetry data to automatically play high-frequency sounds in dense kangaroo...

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Sound deterrents to prevent collisions with Kangaroos in Australia have been sold for many years. None have been shown to work. Whether the Volkswagen device will be any better waits to be seen. Collision data will have to be collected for a while to see if the VW device has any effect on collision rate.

That is an interesting concept, and it would be great if something out there worked. In the meantime, I will try not to drive at dusk 🦘

At one point, I knew the "sonic" animal guards were the most stolen components of cars. You head in, get groceries, and come out, and they are gone. They weren't on the car long enough for me to confirm that would work

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WILDLABS AWARDS 2024 - BumbleBuzz: automatic recognition of bumblebee species and behaviour from their buzzing sounds 

The 'BumbleBuzz' team (@JeremyFroidevaux, @DarrylCox, @RichardComont, @TBFBumblebee, @KJPark, @yvesbas, @ilyassmoummad, @nicofarr) is very pleased to have been awarded the...

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Super great to see that there will be more work on insect ecoacoustics! So prevalent in practically every soundscape, but so often over-looked. Can't wait to follow this project as it develops!

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WILDLABS AWARDS 2024 - TimeLord: A low-cost, low-power and low-difficulty timer board to control battery-powered devices

Hi everyone,@Alasdair from Arribada Initiative and I are so pleased to announce our TimeLord project as one of the lucky winners of this year's WILDLABS Awards. What is TimeLord...

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Thanks @Freaklabs, I think you'll really enjoy getting involved with this too as we're looking for input from makers in the community to get the most from the approach and to capture features and usability ideas from a large number of people.

I've a new modular drop-off tag build using @Rob_Appleby's original SensorDrop board that I think would be great for this project too to see if we can drop different compartments, or do various different timed events with the one TimeLord board.

Most importantly, we have to make it play a MIDI version of the DoctorWho theme song when you arm the device. That has to be the #1 feature if you ask me!


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WILDLABS AWARDS 2024 - Underwater Passive Acoustic Monitoring (UPAM) for threatened Andean water frogs

In our project awarded with the "2024 WILDLABS Awards", we will develop the first Underwater Passive Acoustic Monitoring (UPAM) program to assess the conservation status and for...

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This is so cool @Mauricio_Akmentins - congrats and look forward to seeing your project evolve!

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WILDLABS AWARDS 2024 - FinDrop: Accessible Acoustic Monitoring for Mesophotic Marine Environments

Hello everyone! I am honored to introduce our interdisciplinary team, which has experienced exponential growth over the past year, comprising individuals such as @...

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Congrats @MattyD797 and team!!! We do a lot of work in the underwater bioacoustic realm and your tool certainly seems like it would be a great instrumental addition to the community. Look forward to learning more about your project!


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Bioacoustic device security in urban parks

Hi everyone, I am a high school science instructor, and my students are carrying out a bioacoustic monitoring project with Song Meter Mini 2s and Song Meter Bat 2s at a...

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Yes, I agree with Panji......make sure you have notes of where you put them and remember that photos of trees without leaves look completely different 6 months later......not that I would ever make that mistake.........well not again......especially after spending 2 days trying to find 3 ARU's.

We suggest and use Python Locks for urban areas here in Australia. Can also screw the Mini 2 to a tree or phone post with the python lock.

We've deployed passive acoustic monitors in various urban environments without any issues of theft, even in locations where camera traps and other technology has been historically taken or vandalised. I think acoustic sensors generally look less valuable than other technology, and I would recommend removing or covering any stickers or labels on devices that would otherwise make them more appealing! Placing them in hedgerows or on trees with some (but not too much!) foliage will help keep them well hidden too.

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AI for Conservation!

Hi everybody!I just graduated in artificial intelligence (master's) after a bachelor's in computer engineering. I'm absolutely fascinated by nature and wildlife and I'm trying to...

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Welcome, Have you considered participating in any of the AI for Good challenges. I find it is good way to build a nice portfolio of work. Also contributing to existing open source ML projects such as megadetector or to upstream libraries such as PyTorch is good way to getting hired. 




We could always use more contributors in open source projects. In most open source companies Red Hat, Anaconda, Red Hat and Mozilla, people often ended up getting hired largely due to their contributions on open source projects. These contributions were both technical such as writing computer code and non-technical such as writing documentation and translating tools in their local language. 


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Leveraging Actuarial Skills for Conservation Impact

Hello Wildlabs Community,I'm an experienced actuary with a deep passion for wildlife and conservation. With over 15 years in the insurance industry, I've honed my skills in data...

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Unveiling the Cicada Symphony: Seeking Support for Bioacoustics Research

🌿🎵 Calling all nature enthusiasts and conservation advocates! 🎵🌿 As an independent researcher, I'm exploring the mesmerizing world of cicada sounds using low-cost passive acoustic...

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If you're interested in a free, no-code ecoacoustic analysis platform for your data, check out Arbimon!

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BirdWeather | PUC

Hi Everyone,I just found out about this site/network!I wanted to introduce myself - I'm the CEO of a little company called Scribe Labs.  We're the small team behind...

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I love the live-stream pin feature!

Hi Tim, I just discovered your great little device and about to use it for the first time this weekend. Would love to be directly in touch since we are testing it out as an option to recommend to our clients :) Love that it includes Australian birds! Cheers Debbie

Hi @timbirdweather I've now got them up and running and winding how I can provide feedback on species ID to improve the accuracy over time. It would be really powerful to have a confirmation capability when looking at the soundscape options to confirm which of the potential species it actually is or confirm it is neither to help develop the algorithms.

Also, is it possible to connect the PUC to a mobile hotspot to gather data for device that isn't close to wifi? And have it so that it can detect either wifi or hotspot when in range? Thanks!

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