Bioacoustic Monitoring: A Community Approach to Protecting the Rainforest

Bioacoustic Monitoring: A Community Approach to Protecting the Rainforest

In this National Geographic Inspires video, 2015 National Geographic Emerging Explorer Topher White describes how he uses recycled cell phones to find solutions to the problem of illegal logging in remote rainforests to stop deforestation.


6 - 12


Conservation, Earth Science, Climatology, Geography, Human Geography

Listen as Topher White, a 2015 National Geographic Emerging Explorer and founder of Rainforest Connection, describes how this organization is trying to stop illegal logging and stop deforestation in the rainforest. This organization works to “transform recycled cell phones into autonomous, solar-powered listening devices that can monitor and pinpoint chainsaw activity at a great distance, providing the world’s first audio-based logging detection system, pinpointing deforestation activity as it occurs and enabling real-time intervention.”

Deforestation is one of the main contributors to climate change and the extinction of endangered species. Rainforests play an important role in the carbon cycle. Places where carbon accumulates are known as carbon “sinks” or “reservoirs.” For example, a growing forest removes large amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and stores it in the structure of its wood and leaves. When these forests are cut down, they can no longer “capture” carbon, which translates into larger amounts of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Understanding how carbon moves in and out of reservoirs on our planet is important for understanding climate change.

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Elizabeth Wolzak, National Geographic Society
Last Updated

January 22, 2024

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