The Viability of Passive Acoustic Monitoring

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The Viability of Passive Acoustic Monitoring

We’re delighted to announce the release of a new report exploring the viability of Passive Acoustic Monitoring (PAM) for long term monitoring!

This report is the sum of three years of effort – in which we developed and integrated the Density Estimation for Cetaceans from Passive Acoustic Fixed Sensors (DECAF) methodology into a full simulation tool. A number of key inputs are needed in order to estimate density – understanding the sounds that the species of interest make (and crucially how they vary), the current state of knowledge for detecting, classifying (to correctly identify species using their sounds) and localising (identifying the range to the animal) and the current PAM hardware kit capabilities.

The report reviews the current state of knowledge of each of these elements and crucially is the first time that the DECAF methodology has been implemented in a full simulation framework. The tool allows us to explore the power of a PAM survey design to detect changes over time. This is a crucial tool for future PAM survey planning! The report is available for download here!

Once we had developed the AVADECAF tool (‘Assessing the ViAbility of DECAF”), we ran 1000s of different scenarios to conduct a large sensitivity analysis. This helped us identify which elements are most important and therefore the subjects where research can be prioritised. Check out the report for more details.

You can also learn more about the basis of the DECAF approach on our collaborator website – by the Centre for Research into Environmental and Ecological Modelling, known as ‘CREEM’ (DECAF website). Along with CREEM, we collaborated with folks from SMRU to help deliver this game-changing tool and report!

We are hopeful that the ‘AVADECAF’ tool we’ve developed will become publicly available soon!

The report should be cited as:

Booth, C.G., Oedekoven, C.S., Gillespie, D., Macaulay, J., Plunkett, R, Joy, R., Harris, D., Wood, J., Marques, T. A., Marshall, L., Verfuss, U.K., Tyack, P. Johnson, M., & Thomas, L. 2017. Assessing the Viability of Density Estimation for Cetaceans from Passive Acoustic Fixed Sensors throughout the Life Cycle of an Offshore E&P Field Development. Report number: SMRUC-OGP-2017-001.

And, along with lots of other Sound and Marine Life research reports, you can download it here.

And you can check out the other sectors and services we deliver!

About the Author:

Cormac is a Principal Scientist and Director of Business Development at SMRU Consulting Europe. Check out his bio under the "About Us" tab.

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