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Toward a global biodiversity monitoring system

NSF Award:

Automated Remote Data Aquisition, Analysis and Dissemination of Biodiversity Indicators in the Context of Global Climate Change  (University of Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras)

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To make biodiversity monitoring easier, researchers at the University of Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras created ARBIMON (Automated Remote Biodiversity Monitoring Network). With ARBIMON, researchers use commercial recording equipment to capture and upload sound recordings of the environment, and then manage and analyze their data. This approach automates identification of wild animals as well as information on their abundance and distribution.

Before ARBIMON, many researchers had thousands of recordings with little means to manage and analyze the data. ARBIMON now allows users to upload their recordings, and then explore, listen and analyze them. Permanent data storage permits multiple researchers to share and analyze the same recordings (currently, the database has over 1 million). ARBIMON software and hardware is easily deployed so that it can meet the needs of a seasoned researcher or a high-school student with minimal help.

Mitch Aide and Carlos J. Corrada-Bravo led a team of computer science and biology students in creating ARBIMON. The system provides real-time information for managers, data from multiple sites simultaneously for field biologists, or information on the biodiversity or soundscape around a school. Users currently work with recordings from six countries. The overall goal of this technology is to enable frequent and long-term monitoring across large spatial scales in real time. 

The project website has more information about the system and how to get involved.

Images (1 of )

  • a researcher installs a recording station in costa rica
  • an undergraduate at a recording station in arizona
  • arbimon web-interface recording browser
  • a recording from puerto rico
A researcher installs a recording station in Costa Rica.
T. Mitchell Aide, University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras
An undergraduate at a recording station in Arizona.
T. Mitchell Aide, University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras
ARBIMON web-interface recording browser.
T. Mitchell Aide, University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras
A recording from Puerto Rico.
T. Mitchell Aide, University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras

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