India is a unique country featuring an enormous biodiversity and four global biodiversity hotspots - the Western Ghats and Eastern Himalayas. Much of this biodiversity is interspersed with a large, rapidly expanding, human population. Along with the challenges of changes in landuse, the Indian economy is also on the rise, which adds another set of challenges. Bioacoustics is a research field at the intersection of physics, biology, ecology, and natural history.
It can have various applications; in describing new species of various taxa, in helping understand genetic diversity, in understanding cultural diversity, and providing insights into behaviour and behavioural ecology of various organisms. Bioacoustics has also been used to understand the ecological impacts of deforestation and landscape change. With recent technological innovations, bioacoustics has grown to incorporate new automated recording techniques and innovative acoustic analyses that allow examinations of changing soundscapes and the resulting impact on biodiversity and animal habitats. Although research in biology in India has been rapidly increasing, bioacoustics has had limited capacity in the Indian subcontinent, and there are very few research groups in the country working in this field.
RAVEN is a commercially available software developed by Cornell University, and is arguably one of the most popular softwares being used by the community. Researchers and trainers from Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Bioacoustics Research Program and Macaulay Library are visiting IISER Tirupati to demonstrate and train students in RAVEN. They will also demonstrate various recording techniques using hand-held recorders and with their own recorder SWIFT. Kaleidoscope is another commercially available software developed by Wildlife Acoustics Inc., that also produces bioacoustic recorders - SM4.
This event is hosted at IISER Tirupati, with support from Indo-US Science and Technology Forum (IUSSTF), DST that permits greater interaction of technology developments in the industry with the academia.
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