Is it possible to listen to a landscape? We are finding out.
The Challenge: forest elephants range over tens of thousands of square kilometers in mostly closed-canopy forests. In order to effectively protect this species (and all of the biodiversity held within these forests) we need to develop methods that allow us to peer into activities hidden under the forest canopy. One such “concept animation” is shown in the video above: With sufficiently inexpensive recording devices, powered by the sun, we might literally scatter these across a vast landscape. Some units might land poorly, but enough could lodge in the treetops to listen to animal (and human) activities below. With on-board detection algorithms to classify the sounds and transmit them to a collecting device, we could potentially monitor at scales that would be truly effective.