Listening to the voice of forest

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Date: 
May 22, 2014
Once more our University is being recognized as one of the top leaders of innovative research at international level. The LIFE project AmiBio (Automatic Acoustic Monitoring and Inventorying of BIOdiversity - LIFE08 NAT/GR/000539), coordinated by Professor Nikos Fakotakis, Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, has been selected as the “Best of the Best” LIFE Nature or Information project of 2013. 
 
The AmiBio project aimed at constructing and deploying autonomous multi-sensor monitoring stations and automatically analyzes their transmitted measurements, for long-term monitoring of biodiversity activity trends in the region of Hymettus, a mountainous area located at the eastern periphery of Athens. The acoustic monitoring stations, which are non-intrusive and cost-effective compared to human expeditions, assist in systematic seasonal and longitudinal long-term environmental monitoring that will allow the automatic inventory and examination of the biological diversity of the study area. The monitoring stations record audio signals, temperature, humidity, illumination, wind speed and direction and transmit these data to a central station far away from the monitoring region. Special computer software at the central station, deployed in the premises of University of Patras, further perform automatic species identification and statistical analysis, thus contributing to a continuous biodiversity survey of the designated area. During project implementation, a fully functioning system has been deployed and exploited, with a total of 17 monitoring stations distributed at all habitat types found at Hymettus: phrygana, maquis, pine forest and inland rocks and cliffs. A unique sound collection of Greek soundscapes of over 15 TB of audio recordings (48 kHz, 16 bit, stereo), has been long-term stored, and an archive of over 28000 reference sound recording for 325 sound-producing animals has been produced. During the project, the list of sound-producing animal species for Hymettus area has been increased from 132 to 180 species and 70 species specific detectors have been implemented.

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