At the meeting of the first
European Workshop on Animal Sound Research and Libraries,
hosted under EDIT Workpackage 4 by the Fonoteca Zoologica (Madrid)
between 27-30 September 2006, researchers working with bioacoustic
collections agreed to create the “European Network of Bioacoustic
Collections for Taxonomy, Systematics and Conservation”
European Network of Bioacoustic Collections for Taxonomy,
Systematics and Conservation
To foster cooperation among institutions, researchers
and interested amateurs to safeguard animal sound recordings and
to optimise their use as a resource for research and nature conservation.
The collecting of animal sound recordings is
increasingly recognised as a valuable and often non-invasive tool
for taxonomy, systematics and biodiversity research, because of
the species-specificity of bioacoustical signals.
In common with other behavioural
research, acoustic signals must be collected from living animals,
preferably observed in their natural environments. Also, contrary
to morphological or molecular characters, behaviours are definitively
lost if not documented before species extinction. In the present
frame of global climate change and biodiversity crisis, it is therefore
urgent to facilitate the knowledge, preservation and accurate documentation
of acoustic signals in the animal kingdom.
Many animal sound collections are scattered.
They comprise sound recordings held in sound archives, in zoological
institutions and by private persons. These collections are not
only endangered due to the evanescence of the recording media
and the signal they store, but also due to the risk that many
of them will be lost and/or become unusable due to insufficient
documentation and curation.
Bioacoustic signals are used by vertebrates (mainly
mammals, birds, anurans and fish) and by invertebrates (mainly
insects of the orders Orthoptera and Homoptera), where taxonomic
knowledge is clearly unequal: mammals, birds, and to a lesser
extent anurans, are relatively well-known groups with small numbers
of species. In these groups, bioacoustics alone can usually be
used for species identification, allowing non-invasive biodiversity
monitoring. On the other hand, insects are extremely species rich
and poorly known, especially in the tropics.
Bioacoustical data are here primarily used to
characterise the species,
complementary with other morphological and molecular features.
To be fully reliable, signals recorded from insects must be associated
with clearly identified voucher specimens. In general, well-identified
reference pairs of acoustic signals and collection specimens are
a prerequisite for the future progress of bioacoustics as an effective
biodiversity monitoring tool for invertebrates.
So in addition to the sound recordings,
bioacoustical data may be closely associated with voucher specimens
and other materials (whether photographs, films, blood samples,
or tissues of whole or parts of animals) held in private hands,
in zoological museums and in other institutions. These are not necessarily
housed in the same institution or even in the same country as the
audio recordings. However, links between individual sound recordings
and such corresponding physical specimens are currently nonexistent
or insufficiently documented.
In consideration of the above, the European Network
of Bioacoustic Collections for Taxonomy, Systematics and Conservation
proposes the following objectives:
To raise awareness of the significant
scientific and heritage value of animal sound collections.
To call upon the scientific community
and the general public to collect further sound recordings and
to place these and endangered collections of animal sounds in
the hands of institutions with a long-term perspective and resources
To encourage the digitisation,
cataloguing and preservation of private animal audio collections
and collections dispersed among institutes and universities.
To standardise the metadata associated
with bioacoustic recordings.
To make recommendations for standardised
bioacoustic terminologies for different animal groups.
To create a database of expert
scientists, technicians and archivists specialised in bioacoustics.
To give recommendations for bioacoustics
equipment and software and their proper use.
To create a network of on-line
reference animal sound banks, providing accession numbers to reference
To enhance the significance and
reliability of acoustic data by proving procedural guidelines
for documenting and properly curating the association of sound
data with voucher specimens and with other available animal voucher
material deposited in 3
internationally recognised museum collections.
To make an effective liaison
concerning bioacoustical collections with international taxonomic,
systematic, biodiversity and conservation networks.
To offer training and education
in methods of bioacoustics research, in sound recording and in
sound preservation, by means of summer schools or distance learning.
To establish links between scientists
and the interested public through websites, and to provide websites
of community and software tools.
To encourage the development
of suitable bioacoustic tools: algorithms, software, and specialised
To estimate the reliability of
sound data in global biodiversity appraisals and to develop sound
monitoring protocols for biodiversity conservation, especially
for endangered and/or protected species.
To promote the use of bioacoustic
characters in taxonomy and systematics studies by compiling and
annotating relevant bibliographic references, possibly locating
on the web addresses for pdf files.
Adopted on 29 November 2006 by participants
of the 1st European Workshop on Animal Sound Research and Libraries:
• Jose Pedro Amaral (Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade
de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal)
• Laure Desutter Grandcolas (Muséum national d’Histoire
naturelle, Paris, France)
• Xavier Eekhout (Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales,
• Henrik Enghoff (Natural History Museum Of Denmark, University
• Diana Escobar (Direcció d'Informació i Comunicació.
Institut de Cultura de Barcelona,
• Karl Heinz Frommolt (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin,
Museum für Naturkunde, Germany)
• Emmanuel Gilissen (Royal Museum for Central Africa, Belgium)
• Laura González (Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales,
• Diego Llusia (Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales, Madrid,
• Paulo Marques (Museu Bocage, Museu Nacional de História
• Rafael Márquez (Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales,
• Anna Omedes (Museu de Ciències Naturals, Barcelona,
• José Manuel Padial (Museo Nacional de Ciencias
Naturales, Madrid, Spain)
• Gianni Pavan (CIBRA , Università degli Studi di
• Mario Penna (ICBM, Universidad de Chile, Chile)
• Mercedes Pérez (Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales,
• Gustav Peters (Zoologisches Forschungsmuseum Alexander
Koenig, Bonn, Germany)
• Maria Angeles Ramos (Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales,
• Richard Ranft (British Library Sound Archive, London,
• Klaus Riede (Zoologisches Forschungsinstitut und Museum
Alexander Koenig, Germany)
• Fredrik Schwenker (Universität Ulm, Dpt. of Neural
Information Processing, Germany)
• Gema Solis (Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales, Madrid,
• Alberto González Talaván (GBIF, Spain)
Note: The second "European workshop on animal sound research
and libraries" will be held during the XXI
International Bioacoustic Congress in Pavia, 15-18 September 2007