Biofonia — A citizen science service to monitor biodiversity in nature protection areas.

Abstract

In an age where accelerated species extinction is one of the most pressing anthropogenic phenomena facing us, how might people be given agency in efforts to stem biodiversity loss?

Biofonia is a Citizen Science service concept that aims to help people gain an understanding of biodiversity in a single location through its soundscape. People are connected with nature protection areas and initiatives that focus on re-invigorating habitats to increase overall biodiversity, which they can support by helping them gather and interpret auditory data.

The service has its roots in the science of soundscape ecology, which uses the soundscape produced by animals and insects — termed ‘biophony’ — to gain a 360-degree view of the biodiversity of a given location.

Ultimately, Biofonia aims to cultivate stories of resilience, rather than catastrophe, and help people re-learn the skill of listening.

Result

Project Biofonia is a citizen science service that acts as an intermediary between citizen scientists, scientists, and both private and public nature areas, such as nature reserves, national parks and conservation areas that work to rebuild their ecosystems to resilient states by re-introducing native species.

Scientists are able to access data collected by the monitoring devices funded and set up by citizen scientists, and in exchange offer interpretations of the data collected. Nature areas receive funding for keeping the areas under conservation, or to expand their areas. They also gain access to the environmental data collected, which they can use to make more precise biodiversity evaluations. These evaluations can be used as proof of biodiversity conservation or rewilding success to third party entities.

The concept is composed of an environmental monitoring device, The Collector; an online platform, The Mesh, and a listening device, The Biophone.