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    Good practice guidelines for long-term ecoacoustic monitoring in the UK

    Metcalf, Oliver, Abrahams, Carlos, Ashington, Bob, Baker, Ed, Bradfer-Lawrence, Tom, Browning, Ella, Carruthers-Jones, Jonathan, Darby, Jennifer, Dick, Jan, Eldridge, Alice, Elliott, David, Heath, Becky, Howden-Leach, Paul, Johnston, Alison, Lees, Alexander ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7603-9081, Meyer, Christoph, Ruiz Arana, Usue and Smyth, Siobhan (2023) Good practice guidelines for long-term ecoacoustic monitoring in the UK. Other. The UK Acoustics Network.

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    Abstract

    The popularity of ecoacoustics as an innovative environmental discipline has enjoyed immense growth within the last five years, to a point where it is now becoming difficult to keep up with all the new research papers published. What soon becomes apparent, however, is a lack of consensus on which recording and analysis protocols to follow; partly a result of the differing requirements of each research project, but also an historical artefact of the tropical origins of much of this research. As more acoustic long-term monitoring schemes start to become established throughout the UK and neighbouring countries there arises a need to adopt a more common set of protocols, more akin to our temperate conditions, to allow for valid future analysis and comparison. To that end a group of ecoacoustic researchers and practitioners met in June 2022 to discuss the formulation of such a set. This work was then taken forward by the authors to generate the guidelines contained herein. Digital technologies now allow us the ability to record our acoustic environments widely, with relative ease; and to subject the resulting recordings to an ever-expanding range of analytical methods. This opens up the potential to create new approaches to gauging biodiversity and assessing the changing fortunes of species and their habitats. To maximise these benefits it is vitally important that we secure now, and into the future, data which will illustrate baseline assessments and highlight change. These guidelines therefore provide welcome instruction and conformity, particularly for those new to ecoacoustics. Please use them, as appropriate, to help guide your own contributions to the growing awareness, and use, of sound as an environmental metric within the UK and Europe.

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