Passive acoustic monitoring in terrestrial vertebrates: a review

Hoefer, Sebastian, McKnight, Donald T., Allen-Ankins, Slade, Nordberg, Eric J., and Schwarzkopf, Lin (2023) Passive acoustic monitoring in terrestrial vertebrates: a review. Bioacoustics, 32 (5). pp. 506-531.

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Passive acoustic monitoring (PAM) has become increasingly popular in ecological studies, but its efficacy for assessing overall terrestrial vertebrate biodiversity is unclear. To quantify this, its performance for species detection must be directly compared to that obtained using traditional observer-based monitoring (OBM). Here, we review such comparisons across all major terrestrial vertebrate classes and identify factors impacting PAM performance. From 41 studies, we found that while PAM-OBM comparisons have been made for all major terrestrial vertebrate classes, most comparisons have focused on birds (65%) in North America (52%). PAM performed equally well or better (61%) compared to OBM in general. We found no statistical difference between the methods for total number of species detected across all vertebrate classes (excluding reptiles); however, recording period and region of study influenced the relative performance of PAM, while acoustic analysis method and which method sampled for longer overall showed no impact. Further studies comparing PAM performance in non-avian vertebrates using standardised methods are needed to investigate in more detail the factors that may influence PAM performance. While PAM is a valuable tool for vertebrate surveys, a combined approach with targeted OBM for non-vocal species should achieve the most comprehensive assessment of terrestrial vertebrate communities.

Item ID: 79017
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 0952-4622
Keywords: Bioacoustics, biodiversity, fauna assessments, monitoring methods, passive acoustic monitoring, terrestrial vertebrates
Copyright Information: © 2023 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC)
Projects and Grants: ARC 200101365
Date Deposited: 07 Nov 2023 04:46
FoR Codes: 41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410401 Conservation and biodiversity @ 100%
SEO Codes: 18 ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT > 1806 Terrestrial systems and management > 180606 Terrestrial biodiversity @ 100%
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