Animal Eavesdroppings

Are forest animals the next Bandcamp stars?

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science.

Humans have been working hard to preserve the world’s oceans, deserts and forests. But how is that working out?

You COULD use satellites to track forest growth. But satellites can’t see the critters living IN the forest. How are Bambi, Thumper, Chip and Dale actually doing?

Meet Zuzana Burivalova from Princeton University. She and her international team came up with a cheap and effective tool to track conservation!

Their secret? Microphones! Squirreled away in the trees, listening in on the hidden lives of actual squirrels and their forest friends.

The activity of any vocalizing animal can be measured and analyzed. Every tweet, squeak, growl and howl! Turns out you can identify what’s lurking under the trees with sound alone!

Recordings can even be sent over wifi and analyzed on the fly! This real-time information could be useful for researchers and conservation agencies. It’s also more cost-effective than sending people out to survey and patrol the forests.

In short, here’s a conservation plan that could turn out to be quite…SOUND!