Welcome to Bioacoustic Diversity
Classification of animals observed or collected for biological inventories predominantly relies on visual attributes. However, many animals generate acoustic signals for communication and orientation, which are predestined for eavesdropping on their presence and behaviour. Acoustic signals can be registered over varying distances, allowing for unobtrusive detection and observation of their producers. Acoustic observations are well established for e.g. birds, insects, anurans, bats or whales. Depending on type of signals and taxonomic group, species identification, abundance estimation or behavioural assessment is possible. But physical properties of sound require certain precautions during recording, analysis as well as interpretation. We outline these prerequisites, describe types of bioacoustical signals for major taxonomic groups, and present a short review on state-of-the-art equipment and methods for bioacoustic recording and analyses. We sum up with a step-by-step key on how to proceed in bioacoustic inventories and research.