The white-bellied frog (geocrinia alba) is an extremely tiny species that only lives in an equally tiny area. Scientists have found that total area the extremely endangered frogs occupy is less than 2 square kilometres of swampy patches in the Margaret River region in southwest Western Australia. Such an endemic species naturally attracts the interest of scientists.
Biologists at the University of Western Australia wanted to record the frogs’ distinctive noises to to gain further insight into the behaviour of the animals. But in a wet environment, this poses particular challenges. So they got in Touch with Soundlabs Group in Mittagong, Australia, our distribution partner for the Asia / Pacific region.
“My application is probably a bit unconventional,” wrote Emily Hoffmann, PhD Candidate at the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Western Australia. “I am working with critically endangered frogs in Western Australia, and we are trying to monitor their calling behaviour remotely by using audio recorders that we can deploy into the field. I have made some water-resistant cases for the audio recorders, but I need to cover the holes for the microphones with something water resistant that won’t interfere with the recording ability.”
Leon Gross, the owner of Soundlabs Group, was more than happy to help. He provided the biologists with some of our liquid-repellent Acoustic Cloth 2.0. The specially treated cloth, which has already proven its special qualities in numerous applications such as outdoor loudspeakers or in yacht building, now covers the section where the microphone is located, so any rain or drops of water just run off while neither the technology within the cases nor the quality of the recordings are affected.
To learn more about the white-bellied frog and the research project, which is supported by several foundations and associations, read this article, which was published by “The Naked Scientists”.