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Counting the invisible by sound: A new approach to estimate seabird populations


PhysOrg

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Seabirds nest in places that are inaccessible for most humans - vertical cliffs and remote islands surrounded by raging waves. Worse still, many seabirds lay their eggs in burrows or cavities where they are protected from inclement weather and invisible for researchers. Hidden under rocks or in burrows during the day, and flying around only during dark nights - counting these birds is a researcher's nightmare.

 

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Many seabird species nest underground, approach their nests only during darkness, and are essentially invisible on land and impossible to count. By deploying automated sound recorders on a remote island and counting the recorded calls, a team of seabird researchers was able to estimate the size of a breeding colony of shearwaters on a remote island in the North Atlantic.bSdQNzd0YNQ

 

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