Planet Earth

Some People Do Hear Trees Fall in the Forest

By Ernie MastroianniApr 9, 2019 12:00 PM
Topher White (Credit: Ben Von Wong)

Newsletter

Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news
 

Perched high in a California redwood, engineer Topher White tests an audio recorder that could help stop illegal logging in the world’s threatened rainforests. His design uses discarded cellphones, reprogrammed to listen to the forest, allowing for the sonic detection of chain saws. Using cellular service that White says is surprisingly widespread in many rainforests, the solar-powered phones can connect officials, conservation groups and researchers to the real-time sounds made by logging crews. Rainforest Connection, the non-profit group that White leads, says it has installed more than 100 such devices on five continents.


[This story originally appeared in print as "Sound Sentinel."]

1 free article left
Want More? Get unlimited access for as low as $1.99/month
Already a subscriber? Log In or Register
1 free articleSubscribe
Want unlimited access?

Subscribe today and save 70%

Subscribe

Already a subscriber? Log In or Register
More From Discover
Recommendations From Our Store
Shop Now
Stay Curious
Join
Our List

Sign up for our weekly science updates.

 
Subscribe
To The Magazine

Save up to 70% off the cover price when you subscribe to Discover magazine.

Copyright © 2021 Kalmbach Media Co.