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I have a terrestrial acoustic monitoring situation that presents two challenges:

  1. Acoustic monitoring is being conducted in an area with limited options for attaching the units (i.e., very few appropriate trees or shrubs to which the units might be affixed).

  2. The sites occur on lands where permitting is required to put anything into the ground (i.e., driving a stake or u-post into the ground with a post pounder would require a time-consuming permitting process that creates admin. burden).

When there are no suitable existing structures, and it's undesirable to put a structure into the ground yourself, how do you deploy a terrestrial acoustic monitoring unit? One idea is to put u-posts/stakes into a concrete block and deploy them that way, but these are liable to tip over in the wind. How have others met this type of challenge?

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5 Answers 5

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Perhaps a jack stand for a car (see here). They can definitely handle the weight!enter image description here

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Similar to your concrete block, but what about an umbrella stand with a pole in it? They are meant to not blow over and can come in quite large sizes that can be filled with sand or water.

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  • $\begingroup$ I would use these, they are also easily transported and do not give the impression of fixed installation. $\endgroup$
    – WMXZ
    Jul 14, 2022 at 6:18
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It may seem like a slightly peculiar option, but on one occasion I used an IKEA wooden (two-tier) step ladder. Since it's quite short, stable and has a good centre of gravity it was less liable to be tipped over by the wind or animals. I strapped an Audiomoth to one of its bracing columns and the recordings didn't appear to have any self-noise from the structure. Bearing in mind I did this in the Australian summer for a couple of weeks, so the risk of damp/rain affecting the structure long-term wasn't so much of an issue.

So if you're looking at something longer-term and more impervious to the elements, I suppose you could investigate a short metal stool or platform with a spot to attach a recorder. Maybe even a plastic stool which you could fasten to the ground with tent pegs or similar?

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I've used a camera tripod in the past.

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We have used a concrete block with a post mounted into it that can be carried, deployed, and recovered. You can make something similar using some plywood as a base.

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