Loire. This start-up in Saint-Etienne listens to wildlife in order to better analyze biodiversity

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How many ducks or foxes live, for example, in such and such a park, in such and such a forest? More or less than in previous years? Were the measures taken by park owners or local communities to protect, attract, or, on the contrary, repel certain species effective? Thanks to bioacoustics and ecoacoustics, the start-up Biophonia is proud to be able to answer these questions.

Seasoned adventurers

Biophonia was incubated by Ronalpia Saint-Etienne until recently and founded in late 2020. It is administered by three experts: three highly specialized 30-year-olds and a little adventurous, who have completed scientific work on these topics as part of their respective doctorates. They are Stéphanoise Juliette Linossier (thesis about black-capped warblers), Clément Cornec (Houbara bustard) and Léo Papet (crocodiles). The first is now in Corsica, but its two collaborators are currently researchers in the ENES laboratory at Jean Monnet University (Sensory Neuroethology Team). They lead the development of Biophonia in parallel with their salaried jobs.

Non intrusive surveillance technology

“Bioacoustics is the study of the generation and reception of acoustic signals. Ecoacoustics is the study of all these signals in a specific area, ”explains Clément Cornec. “Today we generally use traditional methods, such as counting, in order to monitor and evaluate the biodiversity present in a space. Bioacoustics and ecoacoustics, which were previously almost exclusively academic disciplines, could offer new, complementary and very effective solutions because they are not intrusive. These techniques are already used to study the sea floor, but very rarely for land surfaces, ”adds Léo Papet.

The operation? The Biophonia team places autonomous recorders in strategic locations. The data is then analyzed by experts supported by software tools powered by AI (Artificial Intelligence). “Depending on the customers requirements, we can concentrate on a certain type. This technique is applicable to all animal sounds, including insects. “Still in the start-up phase, Biophonia must first evangelize the market before announcing sales prospects. The start-up is working on a first project with the regional Haut-Jura nature park.

Knowledge of noise pollution

In parallel to its services, Biophonia would like to sensitize the public and economic players to biological diversity. 50{7d3485657e94c2a51293ca186d4450b2f27c317aa7ee3509dac6c8bbf5461118} of the sounds of nature would actually have disappeared in 50 years.

“In France, the issue of noise pollution is emerging. It was also honored during the first imprisonment when the townspeople heard the birds singing again, even in the heart of Paris ... It was extraordinary. '

Clément Cornet, partner of Biophonia, continues: “We speak at conferences and special festivals to explain how human noise disrupts communication with animals, which is detrimental to certain species that prefer to make areas too polluted by noise allow.'