Borneo Nature Foundation (BNF) has recently carried out the acoustic project in the Natural Laboratory of the Sebangau Peat-swamp Forest (NLPSF). This project is led by Dr. Mark Harrison, BNF’s Co-Director, for biodiversity monitoring in NLPSF by having the acoustic-recording devices installed in three different forest sites; burnt area, undisturbed forest, and forest edge. These devices could capture any sound until 1 km away from the position of the recorder.
Hendri, BNF’s Field Coordinator, said that the acoustic project in NLPSF has different goal to former BNF’s acoustic work in Rungan Forest; “while primate is the focus of acoustic work in the Rungan, in Sebangau National Park we’re more interested to explore biodiversity in different habitats of the forest” said Hendri.
The team is currently downloading the audio files from the recorders for the purpose of initial analysis. Although the project is new, the data is quite rich; with three devices installed now the team has collected at least 48-hour recording samples during the period of one month.
The acoustic-derived data is expected to provide considerable information that could give holistic picture of variety of life forms in the Sebangau National Park forest from pristine to degraded ecosystems. “Most of the sounds captured by the recorders so far are the birds, gibbons, crickets, and frogs. However, different recording sites will never show the same result, we’ll see” Hendri added.
Various research has shown a huge potential of sound-mapping through acoustic recording. It’s considered as cost-effective way of monitoring ecosystems with satisfying results since the recorders are able to capture the “voices” from wide variety of animals in the forest. For instance, some research has employed the acoustic method for identifying variability of bird species; primate calls; and disturbance from human activities to forest communities.
The large amounts of acoustic data will provide researchers with the acoustic data from vocal animals that will help them in assessing behavior of those animals. Recognising the importance of this method, the acoustic project is deemed necessary to carry out in Sebangau National Park for it will provide the picture of animals behavior and interaction through their melodious sounds.