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Article

Estimating Livestock Grazing Activity in Remote Areas Using Passive Acoustic Monitoring

1
Forest Research Institute, ELGO-DIMITRA, 57006 Thessaloniki, Greece
2
School of Biology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 54124 Thessaloniki, Greece
3
Department of Music Technology & Acoustics, Hellenic Mediterranean University, 74100 Rethymno, Greece
4
Foundation for Research and Technology-Hellas, Institute of Computer Science, 70013 Heraklion, Greece
5
Brain Chemistry Lab, Institute for Ethnomedicine, P.O. Box 3464, Jackson Hole, WY 83001, USA
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Antonio Comi
Information 2021, 12(8), 290; https://doi.org/10.3390/info12080290
Received: 25 May 2021 / Revised: 5 July 2021 / Accepted: 15 July 2021 / Published: 22 July 2021
Grazing has long been recognized as an effective means of modifying natural habitats and, by extension, as a wildlife and protected area management tool, in addition to the obvious economic value it has for pastoral communities. A holistic approach to grazing management requires the estimation of grazing timing, frequency, and season length, as well as the overall grazing intensity. However, traditional grazing monitoring methods require frequent field visits, which can be labor intensive and logistically demanding to implement, especially in remote areas. Questionnaire surveys of farmers are also widely used to collect information on grazing parameters, however there can be concerns regarding the reliability of the data collected. To improve the reliability of grazing data collected and decrease the required labor, we tested for the first time whether a novel combination of autonomous recording units and the semi-automated detection algorithms of livestock vocalizations could provide insight on grazing activity at the selected areas of the Greek Rhodope mountain range. Our results confirm the potential of passive acoustic monitoring (PAM) techniques as a cost-efficient method for acquiring high resolution spatiotemporal data on grazing patterns. Additionally, we evaluate the three algorithms that we developed for detecting cattle, sheep/goat, and livestock bell sounds, and make them available to the broader scientific community. We conclude with suggestions on ways that acoustic monitoring can further contribute to managing legal and illegal grazing, and offer a list of priorities for related future research. View Full-Text
Keywords: acoustic sensors; passive acoustic monitoring; detection algorithm; grazing timing; grazing season acoustic sensors; passive acoustic monitoring; detection algorithm; grazing timing; grazing season
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  • Externally hosted supplementary file 1
    Doi: https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.14662284.v1; https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.14905539.v1
    Link: https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.14662284.v1; https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.14905539.v1
    Description: Astaras, C.; Vasiliadis, I.; Stefanakis, N.; Karmiris, Ι. Livestock grazing detection algorithms. Figshare 2021, doi: https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.14662284.v1 Astaras, C.; Karmiris, I.; Stefanakis, N.; Vasiliadis, Ι. Acoustic files used as training data for the development of livestock grazing detection algorithms (sheep/goat, cow, bells). Figshare 2021, doi: https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.14905539.v1.
MDPI and ACS Style

Karmiris, I.; Astaras, C.; Ioannou, K.; Vasiliadis, I.; Youlatos, D.; Stefanakis, N.; Chatziefthimiou, A.D.; Kominos, T.; Galanaki, A. Estimating Livestock Grazing Activity in Remote Areas Using Passive Acoustic Monitoring. Information 2021, 12, 290. https://doi.org/10.3390/info12080290

AMA Style

Karmiris I, Astaras C, Ioannou K, Vasiliadis I, Youlatos D, Stefanakis N, Chatziefthimiou AD, Kominos T, Galanaki A. Estimating Livestock Grazing Activity in Remote Areas Using Passive Acoustic Monitoring. Information. 2021; 12(8):290. https://doi.org/10.3390/info12080290

Chicago/Turabian Style

Karmiris, Ilias, Christos Astaras, Konstantinos Ioannou, Ioakim Vasiliadis, Dionisios Youlatos, Nikolaos Stefanakis, Aspassia D. Chatziefthimiou, Theodoros Kominos, and Antonia Galanaki. 2021. "Estimating Livestock Grazing Activity in Remote Areas Using Passive Acoustic Monitoring" Information 12, no. 8: 290. https://doi.org/10.3390/info12080290

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