Radford Craig A.

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Radford
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Craig A.
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  • Article
    Sounding the call for a global library of underwater biological sounds
    (Frontiers Media, 2022-02-08) Parsons, Miles J. G. ; Lin, Tzu-Hao ; Mooney, T. Aran ; Erbe, Christine ; Juanes, Francis ; Lammers, Marc O. ; Li, Songhai ; Linke, Simon ; Looby, Audrey ; Nedelec, Sophie L. ; Van Opzeeland, Ilse ; Radford, Craig A. ; Rice, Aaron N. ; Sayigh, Laela S. ; Stanley, Jenni A. ; Urban, Edward ; Di Iorio, Lucia
    Aquatic environments encompass the world’s most extensive habitats, rich with sounds produced by a diversity of animals. Passive acoustic monitoring (PAM) is an increasingly accessible remote sensing technology that uses hydrophones to listen to the underwater world and represents an unprecedented, non-invasive method to monitor underwater environments. This information can assist in the delineation of biologically important areas via detection of sound-producing species or characterization of ecosystem type and condition, inferred from the acoustic properties of the local soundscape. At a time when worldwide biodiversity is in significant decline and underwater soundscapes are being altered as a result of anthropogenic impacts, there is a need to document, quantify, and understand biotic sound sources–potentially before they disappear. A significant step toward these goals is the development of a web-based, open-access platform that provides: (1) a reference library of known and unknown biological sound sources (by integrating and expanding existing libraries around the world); (2) a data repository portal for annotated and unannotated audio recordings of single sources and of soundscapes; (3) a training platform for artificial intelligence algorithms for signal detection and classification; and (4) a citizen science-based application for public users. Although individually, these resources are often met on regional and taxa-specific scales, many are not sustained and, collectively, an enduring global database with an integrated platform has not been realized. We discuss the benefits such a program can provide, previous calls for global data-sharing and reference libraries, and the challenges that need to be overcome to bring together bio- and ecoacousticians, bioinformaticians, propagation experts, web engineers, and signal processing specialists (e.g., artificial intelligence) with the necessary support and funding to build a sustainable and scalable platform that could address the needs of all contributors and stakeholders into the future.