Ecoacoustic Bird Surveys: Comparison with traditional survey methods.

Published online
19 Oct 2023
Published by
Baker Consultants
Content type
White paper

Abrahams, C. & Longley, J. & Metcalf, O.

Publication language


This paper describes nine case studies where a combination of both traditional bird survey (TBS) methods and ecoacoustic bird surveys (EBS) were used to determine the species richness of the wild bird assemblages in the UK. It was shown that in two-thirds of the case studies, ecoacoustic surveys recorded more species than traditional methods. In two cases (Oxfordshire and Warwickshire), EBS recorded 50-59% more species than traditional surveys. However, TBS always recorded at least one species, and a mean of 9.33 species, that were not recorded using EBS, although again in most cases EBS recorded far more unique species than TBS, and in all cases the majority of recorded species were detected by both methods. Some of the species detected only by EBS were rare and/or of high conservation concern. In the three case studies that TBS recorded more species than EBS surveys, EBS survey effort was particularly low. In all cases that recorder survey effort was above 1, EBS recorded more species than TBS. It is suggested that traditional and ecoacoustic surveys should be used alongside each other within professional practice to provide a more comprehensive and robust assessment of sites for environmental impact assessments or habitat management.

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