At the Royal Entomoloigcal Society auction, the first prize was won by Jill Franklin; resident of an amazing walled garden in North Yorkshire, and this week we revealed the results of the wildlife ‘bioblitz’ acoustic recording session we carried out for her in the Autumn.
With a Wildlife Acoustics SM Mini recorder positioned in the garden for 17 days, a total of 9500 sound files were captured. Bird, bat, mammal and invertebrate sounds were recorded and analysed using automated software, and manually verified by an experienced ecologist.
Amongst the 35 species of birds identified, the notable species included, barn owl, tawny owl and bullfinch with the most common calls being that of jackdaw, robin and woodpigeon. Bat species recorded included brown long-eared bat, noctule, leislers, myotis bats, and a large amount of common and soprano pipistrelles (probably resident in buildings associated with the site).
In addition, the likely presence of common shrew, dark bush cricket and green silver-lines moth was flagged by the BTO acoustic pipeline analysis.
Understanding the population and distributions of bats, birds mammals and invertebrates is essential for assessing their conservation status and making informed management decisions. These ecoacoustic techniques provide accurate and targeted information that can be used to carry out a more comprehensive and robust assessment of sites for impact assessment or habitat management.
Jill Franklin commented; “Our vegetable garden, flower beds and lawn are all cared for with wildlife in mind. Just a few simple changes in how we manage things, over recent years, have vastly increased the number of species we can see around us, so it’s wonderful to learn about those residents that we never see, too. Nature so desperately needs a home nowadays, so we urge everyone to care more for wildlife, no matter what the size of your space. Through the survey, it’s been great to get a window into their world, however brief. We may look at repeating the survey in a few years to see if our gardening techniques are encouraging a larger variety of species over time and what we can do to extend the seasonal availability of different habitats for them.”
James Longley, Principal Ecologist at Baker Consultants, concludes; “This citizen-science example of what we carry out for clients on a daily basis not only shows how fascinating and important our gardens can be for biodiversity, but also demonstrates how simple monitoring techniques can properly inform management of any habitat, from urban gardens to large estates and agricultural farms. Ecoacoustics has transformed the reliability of data collection and analysis to give a more robust picture of the wildlife present and how species are affected by our actions.”
What is Ecoacoustics?
Sounds from wildlife such as birds, mammals, amphibians and insect pollinators can be recorded in the field using either handheld or automated recording devices. The latter method, in particular, allows sound data to be recorded continuously or at regular intervals, without intervention from surveyors. It allows large volumes of data to be gathered with minimal fieldwork resourcing, and using standardised methods, independent of observer biases. It can therefore be easily implemented over long time periods to track the effects of management practices across habitats and landscapes.
The Baker Consultants team is highly experienced and we are passionate about what we do. If you need advice related to ecology, surveys or conservation, then please get in touch with us via our contact form on the website, or you can call us on +44 (0)1629 593958 or email us on email@example.com.