A team of scientists used playbacks of recorded and artificial porpoise clicks to develop an adaptable method to assess the area in which acoustic monitoring devices can reliably detect these soundsResearchers need to know how far away they can expect acoustic data loggers to capture the sounds of target animals to estimate the density of those animals from the recordings.The cetacean data loggers could reliably detect the click signals up to nearly 200 meters (656 feet), which translated to a circular sampling area of 11 hectares (27 acres) per device.The data logger algorithms could correctly classify the clicks as porpoise sounds only up to 72 meters (236 feet), representing a reliable sampling areas of just 1.6 hectares (4 acres) that could be used to estimate the density of a specific species, an issue affecting researchers working with more than one echolocating species. An international team of scientists has developed a method to assess the detection area of acoustic monitoring devices.These instruments, which can record the calls and other sounds of animals 24/7, have enhanced research on various cryptic yet vocal species, including bats, birds, frogs, bees, and tigers. Passive acoustic monitoring (PAM) units also work underwater to detect the presence or abundance of species such as whales and dolphins.An acoustic device counts only those animals that vocalize within the range of its sound detectors, missing any animals that call beyond its reach. However, few studies have quantified the percentage of vocalizations in a given area that these devices actually capture.A harbor porpoise surfacing in waters off Denmark. These small cetaceans usually stay close to coastal areas, estuaries and harbors. Image by Erik Christensen via Wikimedia Commons, CC 3.0.“Although animals can be recorded using acoustic devices,” team lead Hanna Nuuttila, the SEACAMS scientific officer at Swansea University’s College of Science, said in a statement, “it can be very difficult to quantify the exact ranges and detection areas for acoustic data loggers, something which is crucial if acoustic data is to be used to estimate animal abundance.”The research team played recordings of harbor porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) vocalizations at a range of volumes and distances from a set of PAM devices known as cetacean click loggers (C-PODs), to estimate how these two factors affect the ability of these units to record the sounds. They published their findings last week in the journal Methods in Ecology and Evolution.“This study describes a playback experiment and an analytical method to estimate the effective detection range and area for passive acoustic cetacean click-loggers,” Nuuttila said.A underwater testing protocolTo use PAM devices successfully, researchers need to know the maximum distance at which these devices can detect the sounds of the target animal. Like the concept behind distance sampling, the farther away an animal is from the device, the lower the probability its vocalization will be detected.Estimating the actual number of animals in a given area based on a number of animals “heard” by a project’s acoustic monitoring units therefore requires a model that takes into account the animals within each unit’s detection area and those just beyond their reach. To estimate the density of those animals from the recordings, researchers need to calculate the detection area of their acoustic devices.Cetaceans (whales and dolphins) navigate and feed using a biological sonar called echolocation. The animals emit high-pitched clicking sounds and listen to the echoes of those sounds bouncing off various nearby objects, such as prey or each other. The time between the clicks and the returning echo tells them the distance and location of nearby objects.This video on The Science Behind Porpoises’ Echolocation from American Scientist on Vimeo explains the echolocation process.The C-PODs are underwater acoustic data loggers that pick up and record the echolocation clicks, allowing cetacean researchers to monitor their study animals. The research team determined the range of 15 frequently used C-POD devices moored roughly 1.5 meters (5 feet) above the sea bed off the coast of Wales.They played back artificial and real recorded harbor porpoise sounds from an inflatable boat drifting, with the engine turned off, across the experiment area. Both types of recordings included clicks of varying amplitude and frequency that were within the range of real harbor porpoise vocalization.By playing back the sequences of clicks at set distances and sound source levels, the researchers could estimate the proportion of sounds captured by each device and compare that to the distance from the source.They tested playbacks of the real recordings from 590 different distances, ranging from 0 to 640 meters (2,100 feet, twice as tall as the Eiffel Tower in Paris), with a directional transducer that rotated side to side to imitate the sweeping motion porpoises often make with their heads. They analyzed the recordings of the click sequences made by the C-PODs to see first if the devices detected the sounds and also if they identified the recordings as originating from a porpoise.Assessing probabilityThe researchers analyzed 343 recordings of artificial playbacks and 409 of real porpoise sounds and found that more powerful playbacks played more closely to the data logger were more likely to be detected and identified as porpoise sounds. For example, the probability of a C-POD logger detecting the recording fell sharply for playbacks made between 100 and 300 meters (330 and 980 feet) from the C-POD.Fitted probability curves for the detection of artificial playback clicks at different distances from the sound source, for volumes between 176 and 149 decibels (dB) for C-PODs at two study locations (1A and 1B). Each line depicts the fitted probability for one dB value. The probability of the C-POD detecting sound at each volume dropped substantially between 100 and 300 meters from the source. Image is Figure 4 of Nuuttila et al (2018), “Estimating effective detection area of static passive acoustic data loggers from playback experiments with cetacean vocalisations.”Using statistical models, the researchers estimated the effective detection radius (EDR), the distance that the data loggers could reliably detect individual clicks and click sequences of the two types of signals.The maximum distance a data logger captured the sounds was 566 meters (1,857 feet), though the average EDR among the data loggers was just under 200 meters (656 feet) for both real and artificial porpoise click signals. The researchers calculated that both artificial and recorded porpoise clicks could reliably be detected within a circular area of 11 hectares (27 acres), a.k.a. the effective detection area (EDA).For the algorithms in the data loggers to recognize the caller’s species, however, the sound source had to be closer to the devices, an issue that would affect researchers working in areas with more than one echolocating species. In this case, the algorithms’ EDR for clicks correctly classified as porpoise sounds was just 72 meters (236 feet). In other words, each C-POD could be expected to provide a circular sampling area of about 1.6 hectares (4 acres) to accurately estimate the density of a specific species.A harbor porpoise underwater. These porpoises have small pointed flippers and lack the dolphins’ beak. The dorsal fin is small and triangle-shaped, and they tend to be a bit chubbier-looking. Both groups echolocate. Image by Ecomare/Salko de Wolf Den Hoorn Texel via Wikimedia Commons, CC 4.0.The scientists say in their paper that their analytical methods can be used to estimate the EDA of any logger used in abundance estimates.They stress the importance of accounting for both biological and environmental factors affecting vocalizations when determining the detection area of an acoustic monitoring project. In this study, for example, they found that the variation in detectability by the C-POD data loggers was influenced more by the environmental conditions at the deployment sites than the difference among the devices.They say that these differences “are likely due to a combination of factors including C-POD sensitivity, subtle differences between deployment sites such as unexpected boulders or troughs in the seabed or variation in the substrate type, the deployment depth, and most importantly the added variability in the transmitted signal, due to hydrophone directionality and the added movement by the operator mimicking the side-to-side movement of the porpoise head.”Since ambient noise affects cetacean calling strength and frequency, the researchers recommend measuring the source levels of sounds in the area of interest before using acoustic data loggers to estimate a species’ abundance. As shipping and other human noises increasingly infiltrate marine environments, marine mammals may alter their vocalizations, further affecting both their study and their behavior.CitationNuuttila, H. K., Brundiers, K., Dähne, M., Koblitz, J. C., Thomas, L., Courtene‐Jones, W., … & Hiddink, J. G. Estimating effective detection area of static passive acoustic data loggers from playback experiments with cetacean vocalisations. Methods in Ecology and Evolution. Acoustic, Bioacoustics, data, Marine Mammals, Monitoring, Oceans, Sensors, surveys, Technology, Wildtech Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the editor of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Article published by Sue Palminteri
CCH Tax Day ReportSenate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin G. Hatch, R-Utah, introduced two bipartisan bills on July 12 intended to protect taxpayers. The Stolen Identity Refund Fraud Prevention Bill (Sen 3157) and the Taxpayer Protection Bill of 2016 (Sen 3156) are revenue neutral, estimated by the Joint Committee on Taxation as having little to no revenue effect. Both measures were approved by voice vote during an April 20 committee markup (TAXDAY, 2016/04/21, C.1).Sen 3157 would implement guidelines for the IRS in handling stolen identity refund fraud cases and would increase the criminal penalty for misappropriating taxpayer identity in connection with tax fraud. The bill also requires a biannual report from the IRS on the current status of taxpayer stolen identity refund fraud, including details as to detection, prevention and enforcement activities undertaken by the IRS.Sen 3156 would extend the time limit on contesting an IRS levy from nine months to two years. Additionally, the bill would establish the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Matching Grant Program, intended to establish a community volunteer program to assist low income taxpayers through education and outreach. Among other provisions, the bill would also require the IRS to submit a report to Congress on its Future State efforts to expand online taxpayer services.“Protecting taxpayers from bad actors looking to use their identities for fraudulent purposes and enhancing overall taxpayer protections has been a priority of the committee,” Hatch said in a July 12 statement. “By identifying problems plaguing taxpayers and advancing smart legislation to address those issues head on, the American people are seeing real, bipartisan results from this Congress,” he added.By Jessica Jeane, Wolters Kluwer News StaffSFC Press Release: Hatch Introduces Bipartisan Bills to Protect Taxpayers, Reduce Identity Theft and Refund FraudText of the Stolen Identity Refund Fraud Prevention Act (Sen 3157)Text of the Taxpayer Protection Act of 2016 (Sen 3156)
CCH Tax Day ReportOn remand from the Seventh Circuit 2014-2 ustc ¶50,450, married individuals were not entitled to set aside their stipulation regarding the ordinary loss from the sale of real property. The couple maintained that the supplemental stipulation of settled issues should be set aside because they relied on their attorney’s representation that he was authorized to practice law when they signed the stipulation; therefore, they were denied effective representation and suffered per se injustice and prejudice. However, the couple’s per se injustice argument was rejected as legally and factually flawed.Comment: The Seventh Circuit concluded that both the stipulation of settled issues and the supplemental stipulation of settled issues were not a “settlement” because they did not reflect a computation of the deficiency or penalties or purport to conclusively resolve the couple’s tax liability. Therefore, the stipulations were governed by Tax Court Rule 91. Under Rule 91, a stipulation is treated as a conclusive admission unless otherwise permitted by the court or agreed by the parties. Rule 91(e) further provides that the court will not permit a party to a stipulation to qualify, change, or contradict a stipulation except where justice requires. Generally, a stipulation will not be set aside unless there is a showing of a lack of formal consent, fraud, mistake or some similar ground.The couple’s argument that they were denied effective assistance of counsel because their attorney was not licensed was legally flawed. The couple’s attorney was a licensed attorney for almost 30 years who failed to timely pay his bar dues or meet the state (Illinois) continuing legal education (CLE) requirements. Lawyers who do not pay their dues violate a legal norm, but not one established for the protection of clients. Moreover, attorneys who are suspended for failure to pay dues or meet CLE requirements may be reinstated as a matter of course upon paying the dues and taking the classes. Further, there was nothing to suggest that when the attorney failed to pay his bar dues he lost his technical knowledge, training or experience and was no longer competent to practice law.The couple’s argument was also factually flawed. The attorney’s loss of his license did not result in the couple’s suffering any prejudice, let alone any injustice, when they agreed to settle the loss claim. The attorney provided them with competent, valuable, diligent and effective assistance and he did so despite starting at a disadvantage because of the way their previous representative handled the examination. Further, the attorney provided the couple with a detailed explanation of the pros and cons of accepting or rejecting the settlement offered by the IRS and the couple understood the consequences of accepting or rejecting the settlement. Therefore, there was no reason to set aside the stipulation under Rule 91.Finally, the couple’s third representative was not liable for delay sanctions. This representative multiplied the proceedings on remand unnecessarily and vexatiously and he was warned that he could be subject to sanctions in the future for such conduct.M. Shamrock, TC Memo. 2016-193, Dec. 60,719(M)Other References:Code Sec. 6673CCH Reference – 2016FED ¶39,790.25Tax Court Rule 91CCH Reference – 2016FED ¶42,251.83CCH Reference – 2016FED ¶42,251.88Tax Research ConsultantCCH Reference – TRC LITIG: 6,612.05CCH Reference – TRC LITIG: 6,816
New Delhi: The Delhi government wants to provide respite to people from steeply hiked penalties under the amended Motor Vehicle Act and will take a “conscious” decision on it, Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot said on Wednesday.He, however, clarified the Delhi government is not mulling to “dilute” the hiked penalties as of now. The government is taking feedback from the stakeholders and looking at how other states are moving on it. It will soon take a “conscious” call on it, Gahlot said at a press conference. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderTo a question on hiked penalties, the minister said, “The government wants to give respite (to the people). But, the areas where the (Delhi) government has powers have to be examined. The Motor Vehicles Act comes under the Central list and if the Union government makes any amendment, it prevails over the powers of the state.” “Though state governments have certain discretionary powers to ease the penalties with respect to certain offences as per the new Motor Vehicles Act, as of now the Delhi government is not mulling to dilute them since the stringent measures are meant to ensure road safety,” the minister said in a statement. Also Read – Two brothers held for snatchingsHe said road safety is a major concern for the Delhi government and it is very serious about the issue. “We are closely observing the initiatives of other states as well as consulting with various stakeholders. At any stage, if the Delhi government is convinced about reducing penalties for certain offences, we will do the needful,” Gahlot said. There are around 61 offences under the amended Act, out of which 27 are those on which state governments have no say. However, in the case of the remaining 34 compoundable offences, the state governments can exercise their discretion, he said. The Delhi transport minister said his department has taken several measures to meet the heavy rush for obtaining pollution under check (PUC) certificates. “The capacity of the server has been enhanced from today so that it can process over 6,000 applications for PUC certificates each which was around 3,200 per hour earlier,” Gahlot said. The PUC centres at Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) depots and terminals have been kept open from 11 am till 7 pm, for catering to private vehicles. The transport department will also invite applications for opening new PUC centres. The number of PUC centres in the national capital now is 940, he said. According to an official, after the amended Motor Vehicles Act come into force on September 1, each day on an average 50,000 vehicles undergo the test for a certificate of meeting emission and pollution control norms now, against 10,000 to 12,000 vehicles visiting the test centres before the amended law, which hiked the penalty, came into force. Civil Defence volunteers will be deployed at the PUC centres for crowd management and the Delhi government is keeping a tab on the these facilities so that they do not indulge in any malpractice like overcharging the vehicle owners, Gahlot said, adding two centres have been suspended for malpractices. The number of vehicles in the city is over 1.10 crore, out of which 70 lakh ply on the city roads. Non BS-IV compliant vehicles need to get a PUC certificate after every three months, while BS-IV standard ones require it every year.