Bioacoustics Equipment and Training Program – Pantanal

Treinamento em Monitoramento acústico da biodiversidade – Pantanal

Application Deadline: 25 February 2024 (23:59 Local Time)

Grant start date: April 2024

Apply Now

(PDF version of the grant announcement is available here: Portuguese, Spanish, English)

The K. Lisa Yang Center for Conservation Bioacoustics (Yang Center) is one of the programmatic centers of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, located in the city of Ithaca, New York. Our mission is to collect and interpret the sounds of nature through the development and use of innovative conservation technologies, at relevant ecological scales, to inspire and inform biodiversity conservation. With the purpose of promoting the use of acoustic monitoring as a tool for biodiversity conservation through the Bioacoustics Equipment and Training Program, the Yang Center is pleased to announce the call for the 1st TEMABio Pantanal (Training and Equipment in Acoustic Monitoring of Biodiversity – Pantanal).

TEMABio Timeline

15 January 2024: Opening of the call

25 February 2024: Call ends and application closes

10 March 2024: Announcement of selected teams

13-19 April 2024: In-person training – Practical introduction to Passive Acoustic Monitoring (UFMS Pantanal Study Base)    

MayNovember 2024: Monthly virtual training (Data management, use of the Bioacoustics software Raven Pro, Acoustic analysis, Machine learning), mentoring and ‘Social Hour’ sessions (3 days per month, 19:30 (UTC/GMT -3H), between 1h and 2:30 in duration)

December 2024: Program staff will make an in-person visit to each team to answer questions and help with troubleshooting

January 2025: Winter break

February-March 2025: Last monthly virtual sessions

April 2025: Symposium and presentation of results (location to be defined)

TEMABio Pantanal invites researchers involved in biodiversity conservation projects who are interested in incorporating acoustic monitoring into their methodological toolkit to submit proposals for this call. In this first edition, seven teams will be selected and will receive equipment and training in acoustic monitoring. The goal is to facilitate the incorporation of acoustic monitoring in their projects over the one-year period of the program. No previous knowledge in bioacoustics is needed to apply! The preliminary program schedule comprises:

Each selected team will receive:

• Four autonomous recorders developed by the Yang Center (SwiftOne) and accessories necessary for data storage to carry out an acoustic monitoring project for 1 year;

• In-person and virtual training on designing acoustic monitoring projects, concepts in bioacoustics, and acoustic analysis (including machine learning techniques);

• One underwater acoustic recorder (optional);

• Individualized mentoring during data collection and analysis;

• Encouragement to engage in a regional collaborative network in acoustic monitoring;

• Travel costs to enable participation of up to 3 team members in initial training and concluding in-person symposium.

We particularly encourage teams that are excited about the opportunity to collaborate and share acoustic data, enabling broad-scale analysis and/or collaborative analysis of multiple species by researchers with different taxonomic expertise. Please note that the in-person training will include discussions of the following:

  • ethical and legal aspects of data sharing;
  • using a standardized protocol that enables cross-site comparison, and would require servicing the recorders (battery and memory card swap) approximately every 3-4 months;
  • opportunities related to data standardization and harmonization, such as the creation and publication of a reference acoustic data set for species in the region;

Who Should Apply: The following profiles are especially welcome to submit a proposal in this call:

• Study areas are in the Pantanal floodplain (lowlands), throughout its geographic extension (including Brazil, Bolivia, and Paraguay);

• Interest in investigating species whose behavior involves acoustic communication;

• Interest in incorporating acoustic monitoring as an activity in your project, especially for the long term;

• Familiarity with the biology of the focus group and legal permissions for data collection at the study site contained in the proposal;

• Prior knowledge in acoustic monitoring or bioacoustics is NOT a prerequisite;

• At least one team member should be familiar with Portuguese, English and Spanish, as some training sessions and teams may be more comfortable with English or Spanish. In all cases, we will endeavor to provide materials in multiple languages and full proficiency is NOT required;

• Projects that include activities that raise awareness among a specific target audience, with a special focus on local communities.

Project proposals will be anonymized and evaluated by a committee composed of members of the Yang Center and local collaborators affiliated with research and extension institutions. The following evaluation criteria will be considered by the evaluators:
• Robustness of the rationale and significance of the work;
• Relevance of the proposal for the conservation of the focal group and the Pantanal context;
• Feasibility of completing a pilot study from the beginning of the program;
• Identification of subsequent steps to the program to consolidate the use of acoustic monitoring;
• Feasibility and potential impact of extension and knowledge transfer activities;
• Team composition, including evidence of leadership from minority groups.

The application period is from January 15 to February 25, 2024. The application form should be filled out in this link. Submissions in Portuguese or English are welcome. If you have any questions, please contact us at (Larissa) or (Laurel).

Statement on diversity and inclusion: At the Yang Center, we believe that the tools and knowledge needed for effective acoustic monitoring should be accessible and inclusive, in particular for in-country researchers and conservationists and others who have been marginalized or  excluded from research and conservation. Therefore, we highly encourage applicants from historically underrepresented groups to apply.