I'm a practitioner who has come into bioacoustics from a non-ecology background, as my practice up to 2020 was largely confined to sound art, field recording and holistic aspects of acoustic ecology.

As I've ventured into the field (predominantly terrestrial settings) to collect acoustic data - surveying sites and deploying remote acoustic monitoring devices - I've become increasingly aware that working in the field is a learning curve in itself; prone to multiple considerations including aspects of workflow, health & wellbeing, ethics and laws/regulations which may be specific to a site under observation.

Of course, similar considerations apply - in part - to the practice of field recording/acoustic ecology, but the longer-term implications of acoustic observation/remote sensing appear to present greater degrees of rigour.

By way of an example: on a recent field trip in a semi-remote location that I have access to, I found myself wondering whether I could go about this work in a more pre-planned manner. Such considerations on this trip related to effectively and ethically deploying a terrestrial AudioMoth to a tree branch (with consideration to birds, insects) and devising the best strategy for deploying a housed AudioMoth in a nearby creek with a customised float.

Since this Bioacoustics community consists of many practitioners with an established background of working in the field - terrestrial, marine, other - I am especially keen to find resources specific to any of the following points (listed below.)

Following subsequent input re: this question from community members I've restricted this query to terrestrial settings only and perhaps an adjacent query or forum post relevant to marine settings may come up sometime in the future.

Key considerations I am seeking resources, documentation or advice for:

  • Packing/equipment inventory, e.g. what to take on a given field trip.
  • Best practice for identifying nominal monitoring sites and deployment within a region of interest.
  • Obtaining permits and permissions relevant to a region of interest.
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    $\begingroup$ Could you perhaps state (edit) more explicitly what you're looking for? For example packing lists, permitting processes, deployment instructions, etc.? As it is now the question is a bit vague to 'fieldwork resources' which could mean a lot of different things! $\endgroup$ Jul 28, 2022 at 13:12
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks Carly, will do. I was slightly concerned that the question was slightly too broad. $\endgroup$ Jul 28, 2022 at 21:24
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    $\begingroup$ @TristanLouth-Robins thanks for edits so far… The terrestrial & marine environments are SO different… I might suggest adding more detail about the environment you are considering (and state that in title, too) $\endgroup$
    – Shannon
    Jul 29, 2022 at 2:18
  • $\begingroup$ @Shannon: good suggestion, thank you. I'll include these as edits to the question. $\endgroup$ Jul 29, 2022 at 2:31

1 Answer 1


I would suggest the following as a few places to start:

  1. The Bioacoustic Unit 'protocols' documents: http://bioacoustic.abmi.ca/resources/protocols/

  2. The WWF Acoustic Monitoring Guidelines: https://www.wwf.org.uk/sites/default/files/2019-04/Acousticmonitoring-WWF-guidelines.pdf

  3. The Australian Acoustic Observatory deployment manual: https://acousticobservatory.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/a2o_deployment-manual_052019_v25.pdf

  4. Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute Terrestrial ABMI Autonomous Recording Unit (ARU) and Remote Camera Trap Protocols: https://www.abmi.ca/home/publications/551-600/565

  5. US National Parks Service Amphibian Monitoring Protocol: https://irma.nps.gov/DataStore/DownloadFile/616753

..and for a more personal non-scientific field-recording approach, I'd recommend the blog by George Vlad, which has some great info and ideas from working in a range of locations/habitats: https://mindful-audio.com/

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for these links, Carlos! Should be enormously helpful. $\endgroup$ Aug 2, 2022 at 21:51

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