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Evaluation of Accuracy and Precision of the Sound-Recorder-Based Point-Counts Applied in Forests and Open Areas in Two Locations Situated in a Temperate and Tropical Regions

Department of Behavioural Ecology, Faculty of Biology, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Uniwersytetu Poznańskiego 6, 61614 Poznań, Poland
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Academic Editor: Jukka Jokimäki
Birds 2021, 2(4), 351-361; https://doi.org/10.3390/birds2040026
Received: 7 September 2021 / Revised: 16 October 2021 / Accepted: 19 October 2021 / Published: 21 October 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers of Birds 2021)
Counting from points is one of the most popular techniques for surveying birds, and it is applied in various environments, from polar to tropical regions. Across such a wide range of environmental conditions, the effectiveness of this method may vary considerably. In this study, we applied autonomous sound recorders to examine whether effectiveness of the method in bird biodiversity estimation differ depending on the geographical region (tropical vs. temperate), habitat type (forest vs. open area) and the time of day at which the survey began. We found that point-counts provided statistically indistinguishable estimates of bird biodiversity in different geographical regions and habitats. However, during a single 5-min survey, only 41–54% of species present at the recording site were detected. Independent of the region or habitat type, we recorded significantly more species at sunrise than during later surveys. Our study showed that point-counts provided similar estimates of bird biodiversity in various habitat types and geographical regions. At the same time, the low proportion of detected species during a single survey limits the usefulness of the method in studying bird–environment relationships (e.g., habitat preferences), while decreasing number of detected species across the day may result in the misinterpretation of the status of bird populations when early and late surveys are compared without controlling this factor.
The point-count method is one of the most popular techniques for surveying birds. However, the accuracy and precision of this method may vary across various environments and geographical regions. We conducted sound-recorder-based point-counts to examine the accuracy and precision of the method for bird biodiversity estimation as a function of geographical region, habitat type and the time of day at which the survey began. In temperate (Poland) and tropical (Cameroon) regions, we recorded soundscapes on two successive mornings at 36 recording sites (18 in each location). At each site, we analyzed three 5-min surveys per day. We found no differences in the accuracy and precision of the method between regions and habitats. The accuracy was significantly greater at sunrise than during later surveys. The similarity of the bird assemblages detected by different surveys did not differ between regions or habitats. However, the bird communities described at the same time of day were significantly more similar to each other than those detected by surveys conducted at different times. The point-count method provided statistically indistinguishable estimates of bird biodiversity in different geographical regions and habitats. However, our results highlight two weaknesses of the method: low accuracy (41–54%), which limits the usefulness of a single survey in understanding bird–environment relationships, and changes in accuracy throughout the day, which may result in the misinterpretation of the status of bird populations. View Full-Text
Keywords: bird survey; bird monitoring; autonomous sound recording; tropics; temperate region; effectiveness of point-count method; bird biodiversity; acoustic monitoring bird survey; bird monitoring; autonomous sound recording; tropics; temperate region; effectiveness of point-count method; bird biodiversity; acoustic monitoring
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MDPI and ACS Style

Budka, M.; Kułaga, K.; Osiejuk, T.S. Evaluation of Accuracy and Precision of the Sound-Recorder-Based Point-Counts Applied in Forests and Open Areas in Two Locations Situated in a Temperate and Tropical Regions. Birds 2021, 2, 351-361. https://doi.org/10.3390/birds2040026

AMA Style

Budka M, Kułaga K, Osiejuk TS. Evaluation of Accuracy and Precision of the Sound-Recorder-Based Point-Counts Applied in Forests and Open Areas in Two Locations Situated in a Temperate and Tropical Regions. Birds. 2021; 2(4):351-361. https://doi.org/10.3390/birds2040026

Chicago/Turabian Style

Budka, Michał, Kinga Kułaga, and Tomasz Stanislaw Osiejuk. 2021. "Evaluation of Accuracy and Precision of the Sound-Recorder-Based Point-Counts Applied in Forests and Open Areas in Two Locations Situated in a Temperate and Tropical Regions" Birds 2, no. 4: 351-361. https://doi.org/10.3390/birds2040026

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