Estimating Little Penguin population sizes using automated acoustic monitoring and citizen science

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Abstract

While automated recorders are becoming a favourable tool to monitor birds, methods to analyse the large amount of data generated and their reliability for estimating population size are still limited. In this study, I compared Little Penguins Eudyptula minor call detection between a trained researcher, amateur volunteers and an automated software, assessed which environmental factors affect call variability and detectability and determined the feasibility of automated recorders to estimate population sizes. I found that (1) the number of calls detected by the trained researcher was significantly higher than those detected by the amateur volunteers and automated software, (2) neither wind speed nor moon illumination affected call variability and detectability, and (3) six automated recorders estimated between 3% (large colony) and 14–26% (small colony) of the population. This study contributes to our understanding of the efficacy of automated recorders for avian monitoring.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1423-1431
Number of pages9
JournalIbis
Volume165
Issue number4
Early online date2 Mar 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2023

Keywords

  • acoustic monitoring
  • bioacoustics
  • citizen science
  • population trends
  • seabirds

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