Soundscapes & deep learning enable tracking biodiversity recovery in tropical forests
Three members of RFCx’s science team are co-authors on a recent Nature Communications study examining how acoustic monitoring and AI can track forest restoration in the Choco region of Ecuador. The study involved deploying passive acoustic recorders across a restoration gradient, from active pastures and cacao plantations to abandoned pastures and plantations being naturally regenerated and finally to undisturbed forests. The authors combined expert identification of animal calls along with two automated methods, including one that utilized deep learning AI models. The study demonstrates that automated ecoacoustic monitoring can be used to track forest recovery, even beyond vocalizing vertebrates, suggesting its broad use to assess restoration outcomes.