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Visualizing sound: counting wolves by using a spectral view of the chorus howling

Overview of attention for article published in Frontiers in Zoology, September 2015
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About this Attention Score

  • In the top 25% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • Good Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (77th percentile)
  • Good Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (70th percentile)

Mentioned by

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9 tweeters
facebook
1 Facebook page

Citations

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20 Dimensions

Readers on

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95 Mendeley
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Title
Visualizing sound: counting wolves by using a spectral view of the chorus howling
Published in
Frontiers in Zoology, September 2015
DOI 10.1186/s12983-015-0114-0
Pubmed ID
Authors

Daniela Passilongo, Luca Mattioli, Elena Bassi, László Szabó, Marco Apollonio

Abstract

Monitoring large carnivores is a central issue in conservation biology. The wolf (Canis lupus) is the most studied large carnivore in the world. After a massive decline and several local extinctions, mostly due to direct persecutions, wolves are now recolonizing many areas of their historical natural range. One of the main monitoring techniques is the howling survey, which is based on the wolves' tendency to use vocalisations to mark territory ownership in response to howls of unknown individuals. In most cases wolf howling sessions are useful for the localisation of the pack, but they provide only an aural estimation of the chorus size. We tested and present a new bioacoustic approach to estimate chorus size by recording wolves' replies and visualising choruses through spectrograms and spectral envelopes. To test the methodology, we compared: a) the values detected by visual inspections with the true chorus size to test for accuracy; b) the bioacoustic estimations of a sample of free-ranging wolves' replies developed by different operators to test for precision of the method; c) the aural field estimation of chorus size of a sample of free-ranging wolves' replies with the sonogram analysis of the same recordings to test for difference between methods. Visual inspection of the chorus by spectrogram and spectrum proved to be useful in determining the number of concurrent voices in a wolf chorus. Estimations of chorus size were highly correlated with the number of wolves counted in a pack, and 92 % of 29 known chorus sizes were recognized by means of bioacoustic analysis. On the basis of spectrographic evidence, it was also possible to identify up to seven concurrent vocalisations in a chorus of nine wolves. Spectral analysis of 37 free ranging wolves' replies showed a high correlation between the chorus size estimations of the different operators (92.8 %), but a low correlation with the aural estimation (59.2 %). Wolf howling monitoring technique could be improved by recording wolves' replies and by using bioacoustic tools such as spectrograms and spectral envelopes to determine the size of the wolf chorus. Compared with other monitoring techniques (i.e., genetic analysis), bioacoustic analysis requires widely available informatic tools (i.e., sound recording set of devices and sound analysis software) and a low budget. Information obtained by means of chorus analysis can also be combined with that provided by other techniques. Moreover, howls can be recorded and stored in audio file format with a good resolution (i.e. in "Wave" format), thus representing a useful tool for future listening and investigations, which can be countlessly employed without risks of time deterioration.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 9 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 95 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Italy 2 2%
France 1 1%
Hungary 1 1%
United Kingdom 1 1%
United States 1 1%
Unknown 89 94%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Ph. D. Student 21 22%
Student > Master 19 20%
Researcher 13 14%
Student > Bachelor 12 13%
Other 9 9%
Other 8 8%
Unknown 13 14%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 48 51%
Environmental Science 22 23%
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology 3 3%
Computer Science 2 2%
Unspecified 1 1%
Other 4 4%
Unknown 15 16%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 6. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 30 December 2019.
All research outputs
#3,923,558
of 16,519,237 outputs
Outputs from Frontiers in Zoology
#215
of 545 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#55,808
of 244,632 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Frontiers in Zoology
#3
of 10 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 16,519,237 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done well and is in the 76th percentile: it's in the top 25% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 545 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 20.9. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 60% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 244,632 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done well, scoring higher than 77% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 10 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has scored higher than 7 of them.