Bioacoustics is an increasingly popular method of learning about the natural word by measuring and recording the sounds of the environment, from the songs of birds to the gurgling of streams. Small microphones can be attached to trees and other structures, similarly to a camera trap, but these microphones can transmit data to artificial intelligence software that can distinguish multiple overlapping sounds from one another. Audio recording devices can also pick up data from a much greater land area than a camera with a limited frame.
Tropical ecologist Mitch Aide “dreams that one day soon, audio recordings of natural soundscapes will be like rainfall and temperature data, collected from a worldwide network of permanent stations, widely available for analysis, and permanently archived.” Bioacoustics may help us determine how species are responding to disturbances including habitat destruction, climate change, etc. in ways such as listening for their sounds in new places or lack thereof in places where they have a historical presence. Australia is already implementing 100 of these bioacoustic recording devices across the continent.
Read more about this emerging science here: https://e360.yale.edu/features/listening-to-nature-the-emerging-field-of-bioacoustics