1 Tahrcountry Musings: New Method for Counting Birds Developed

Friday, November 27, 2009

New Method for Counting Birds Developed

It was fascinating to read about this new acoustic technique developed by , Deanna Dawson of the US Geological Survey and Murray Efford of the University of Otago, New Zealand, for counting birds. The acoustic technique gives a more accurate estimate of bird numbers than using nets to capture birds.

Deanna has worked out a way of using recordings of birdsong to accurately measure the size of bird populations. The technique involves innovative combination of sound recording with spatially explicit capture-recapture (SECR). Sound spreading through a forest or other habitat leaves a ‘footprint' and the size of the footprint depends on how quickly the sound attenuates.

The new technique can also be used to measure hard-to-reach populations of marine mammals, such as whales and dolphins.

The findings have been published in the latest issue of the British Ecological Society's Journal of Applied Ecology.

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