Australia’s biodiversity crisis necessitates urgent action to deliver continental-scale monitoring and management of threatened species and ecosystems. Acoustic monitoring is set to revolutionise this by capturing a permanent, direct, scalable and objective record of the environment.
As inexpensive open source recorders are now being deployed en masse, researchers, governments, land holders and the community can use acoustics to monitor their land, understand changes to native wildlife populations and detect pests. However, managing and analysing big acoustic data is difficult due to a lack of standardisation in methods and metadata. Also, siloed local data collections prevent aggregated continental-scale analysis. Biodiversity and land managers are calling for a way to share acoustic data and tools, and to visualise and analyse data that interfaces with other platforms.
The Open Ecoacoustics project will extend and generalise an existing QUT platform, the Acoustic Workbench, to open it to everyone, and make it FAIR. The platform already manages environmental acoustic data, but this project will make it citable and interoperable. This project will also enable the aggregation and sharing of FAIR annotated datasets and species recognition algorithms (‘recognisers’), analyses and tools, and interoperate with other systems including TERN, ALA, EcoCommons and citizen science sites, through microservices and shared tools.
The Open Ecoacoustics project will also develop standards for ecoacoustics data collection and management, along with training and educational materials for users so that data collection will adhere to the standard. Standards will ensure that data is reusable. The establishment of a community will also ensure these standards are sustainable.
Who is this project for?
- Research organisations
- Ecological agencies (both for-profit and not-for-profit)
- Government policy makers (state and commonwealth)
What does this project enable?
The Open Ecoacoustics project will realise continental-scale fauna monitoring and research, something that was previously impossible, and it will contribute towards a national ecosystem observatory capability. This will revolutionise ecological research, including the management and conservation of biodiversity, threatened species and food security.