Issue 4.7 is now online! This issue includes articles on isotopes, abundance, occupancy, survival and acoustics. We also have 3 freely available applications: EasyABC: performing efficient approximate Bayesian computation sampling schemes using R by Franck Jabot et al., Congruification: support for time scaling large phylogenetic trees by Johnathan Eastman et al. and phyloGenerator: an automated phylogeny generation tool for ecologists by William Pearse and Andy Purvis.
About the cover: Acoustic methods are particularly important for monitoring species which are hard to study visually, such as cryptic or nocturnal birds. Automatic recorders can greatly increase the efficiency of call monitoring, but their adoption is hampered by lack of direct comparison with existing manual field call counts. Call surveys are central to conservation of all five species of the threatened or near-threatened New Zealand kiwi. The accompanying article, A practical comparison of manual and autonomous methods for acoustic monitoring, compares automatic and manual acoustic survey methods, applied to call counts of little spotted kiwi (Apteryx owenii). This cover image is of a male little spotted kiwi in its daytime burrow in the study area in Wellington, New Zealand. The study shows that automatic methods are less sensitive than manual methods, but offer an extremely efficient alternative for species monitoring. They incur different biases, and so can yield different ecological conclusions unless these are accounted for.
Image © Andrew Digby.