We recently asked the question above to delegates at the UKAN+ Monitoring Biodiversity symposium, using a SurveyMonkey Questionnaire, and with the following parameters:
We want to develop a broadly applicable acoustic monitoring method, useful for a range of studies, enabling common approaches and data sharing. The questions below aim to see whether any consensus can be reached on aspects of sampling design. Your answers should assume that you are designing a realistic general-purpose ecoacoustic sampling protocol for monitoring the soundscape of a site, e.g. for environmental assessment, nature reserve management, or a rewilding scheme. The model study will be:
- implemented for a single discrete site, not a wide regional/national scheme,
- be based in UK/Europe,
- undertaken by an organisation with limited means, e.g. a county Wildlife Trust, landowner, or ecological consultancy,
- Use 5-10 commercially available automated recording units, and
- have data analysis to produce Acoustic Indices, or identify species presence primarily within the audible range, e.g. birds or amphibians.
What would your advice be in terms of equipment setup, programme, and spatial and temporal deployment?
Of course there is no one correct answer, or one-size-fits-all. But I'm keen to see where there is consensus - and disagreement.