Abstract # 4631 Event # 41:

Scheduled for Thursday, June 20, 2013 04:15 PM-04:30 PM: Session 6 (San Geronimo Ballroom B) Oral Presentation


ON THE USE OF PASSIVE MICROPHONE ARRAYS FOR RESEARCH AND CONSERVATION EFFORTS WITH FOREST-LIVING NONHUMAN PRIMATES

R. A. Delgado and J. A. Askew
University of Southern California, Section in Human & Evolutionary Biology, Department of Biological Sciences, Los Angeles, CA 90089, USA
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     Many endangered nonhuman primate species living in tropical forests serve as flagship species for conservation efforts and face severe anthropogenic threats. To develop effective conservation initiatives, an accurate knowledge of their geographic distributions, population sizes, and local densities is crucial. However, current methods of estimating these measures are costly and time-intensive; therefore, we propose to adopt and promote new and more time-efficient approaches that localize and monitor populations through their acoustic signals using spatially dispersed groups of microphones (i.e. microphone arrays). Here, we review and evaluate the existing technologies and their potential applications for primate research and conservation. To date, microphone arrays have been used in studies relating to geographic distributions, population abundances, biodiversity and behavior among a diverse range of taxa including songbirds, terrestrial vertebrates, marine mammals, and anurans. Wireless and wired microphone arrays enable researchers to locate and track animals over large areas, using a call’s relative time of arrival at each of the microphones. Many forest-living, nonhuman primates are excellent candidate species for these studies because they produce conspicuous and far-reaching long-distance vocalizations. Hence, this novel method will enable primatologists to use a non-invasive, and time-efficient method for estimating population densities and distributions of rare and illusive arboreal primates. These data should also provide insights into how anthropogenic factors such as climate change and habitat fragmentation affect primate population trends over time.