Dr Berndt van Rensburg’s research focus is to develop less-intrusive bio-acoustic survey methods to detect and monitor hard-to-detect species more accurately and efficiently. The focus of his research on this topic is both birds and frogs.
For the threatened wallum frog in Queensland, we use acoustic technologies to better understand and evaluate the effectiveness of biodiversity offsets. Evaluating offsets for species that require extensive survey effort in the field, such as amphibians, can be particularly challenging.
For birds, we use novel bio-acoustic methods to answer questions related to breeding success, with a particular focus on endangered black-cockatoos. Monitoring their breeding can be difficult using traditional methods as it requires human observers at nests, which are usually rare, remote and on private land.
Acoustic methods can help researchers to get around these types of challenges, as they are passive and allow us to capture environmental data 24/7.