Welcome to the website of the Kenya Bioacoustics Project. Kenya's rich biodiversity faces a number of threats including human encroachment, poaching and climate change. Since Kenya is a developing country, there is need to manage the sometimes competing interests of development and conservation. To achieve this, tools to effectively monitor the state of Kenya's various ecosystems are essential.

At the Kenya Bioacoustics Project we aim to:
  1. Develop and validate appropriate bioacoustic technology for biodiversity assessment based on recognition of bird species that serve as indicator taxa and audio diarization to conduct census of these bird species. 
  2. Determine areas of acute biodiversity loss by monitoring abundance of selected bird species  with a view to determining areas where conservation efforts for birds and other terrestrial vertebrates are necessary. 
  3. Improve citizen participation in conservation by highlighting the plight of endangered birds.

Acoustic Biodiversity Monitoring

Recording Equipment
We have designed a cheap acoustic recording system based on the Raspberry Pi (RPi). The device can be programmed to make recordings at specific times. 

In addition we use the AudioMoth developed by Prof. Alex Rogers and his team.

We also obtain recordings using the Olympus LS-12 PCM recorder.

Analysis of Audio Recordings
We aim to develop methods to infer biodiversity from the audio recordings and identify bird species from their vocalisations. An initial examination of spectrograms computed from the recordings obtained using the RPi recorder show that the recordings are of good enough quality to identify bird species. In addition we can detect noises that indicate human presence such as gunshots and cowbells.

A number of the audio recordings have been uploaded to Xeno Canto, a website for sharing bird recordings.

Bonus Audio
We sometimes obtain interesting recordings of various species. Here is the recording of a tree hyrax obtained at the DeKUT conservancy at 00.40 on 6th January, 2016.

  Wire-tailed Swallow

The Raspberry Pi based acoustic recording system

The Raspberry Pi recording system in the field.

The spectrogram of a typical recording obtained at the DeKUT conservancy. There are a number of bird species vocalising in the recording (labelled A-D) and gunshot noise from the neighbouring Kiganjo Police Training college (E).