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Audio-visual monitoring papers in EMU and Wildlife Research

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Subject: Audio-visual monitoring papers in EMU and Wildlife Research
From: "Matthew Stanton" <>
Date: Wed, 11 Mar 2009 11:14:07 +1100
A new audio-visual technique for effectively monitoring nest predation and the 
behaviour of nesting birds
Diane Colombelli-Négrel A , Jeremy Robertson A , B and Sonia Kleindorfer A
A School of Biological Sciences, Flinders University, GPO Box 2100, Adelaide, 
SA 5001, Australia.
B Corresponding author. Email: 
Effective monitoring techniques are vital to understanding a range of 
behaviours and their consequences for evolution of life histories. Video and 
photographic monitoring is regularly used but rarely with audio monitoring even 
though it can identify birds or predators off-camera, and detect alarm calls 
and songs. We developed a 4-channel audio-visual recording system to 
continuously monitor the nests of Superb Fairy-wrens (Malurus cyaneus). This 
innovative system worked autonomously for 3 days and identified repeat visits 
by some predators, detected nest predation by Grey Currawong (Strepera 
versicolor) and two rodents, and provided new insights into nest defence, 
provisioning rates, vocalisations of parents and nestlings and interactions 
between them.
Emu 109(1) 83-88
Submitted: 16 September 2008    Accepted: 17 December 2008    Published: 10 
March 2009
Full text DOI: 10.1071/MU08048
© Royal Australasian Ornithologists Union 2009

Pitfalls in using counts of roaring stags to index red deer (Cervus elaphus) 
population size
Paolo Ciucci A , B , Gianluca Catullo A and Luigi Boitani A
A Dipartimento di Biologia Animale e dell'Uomo, Università 'La Sapienza' di 
Roma, Viale dell'Università 32 - 00185, Roma, Italy.
B Corresponding author. Email: 
Counting roaring stags during the rut has been proposed as a means to assess 
deer population size and trends but few, if any, attempts have been made to 
evaluate the reliability of this technique. By means of a commonly used field 
protocol, we assessed to what extent relative abundance estimates of red deer 
(Cervus elaphus) based on roaring-stag counts in the northern Apennines (Italy) 
were susceptible to exogenous and unpredictable sources of variability. By 
using up to 26 simultaneous observers in an area of 5218 ha, we estimated 
densities from 0.45 to 0.61 roaring stags per 100 ha in 3 consecutive years 
(1992-94), corresponding to annual changes in the number of counted roaring 
stags ranging from -21% to +35.7%. However, only in two of the three years were 
seasonal trends and peaks in roaring activity apparent, and timing of the 
survey was not always synchronous with the roaring peak. In addition, annual 
and nocturnal variation in roaring activity, and weather conditions during the 
survey, might have influenced the counts to some extent, probably determining 
high Type I and Type II error rates. We contend that additional sources of 
error, associated with unknown demographic and ecological settings, may further 
increase unreliability of the technique when it is used to estimate absolute 
density of red deer populations. We conclude by emphasising that managers 
should not use this method for population monitoring unless they can prove it 
can yield reliable results.
Wildlife Research 36(2) 126-133
Submitted: 27 August 2007    Accepted: 6 November 2008    Published: 20 
February 2009
Full text DOI: 10.1071/WR07121
© CSIRO 2009

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