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Purdue Scientist Asking For Help Recording Wildlife During Solar Eclipse

Posted On August 20, 2017

By Travis Thayer

(West Lafayette, Ind.) – Researchers are curious how wildlife will react to unexpected darkness during the upcoming total solar eclipse.

On Monday, August 21, the moon will completely cover the sun and the sun’s tenuous atmosphere for the first time since 1979.

Purdue University scientists are asking the public for help recording wildlife at the height of the eclipse, as well as before and after.

Byran Pijanowski, professor and director of Purdue’s Discovery Park Center for Global Soundscapes, says the eclipse will offer a rare opportunity to understand how an unexpected period of darkness may alter animals’ circadian rhythms – such as the noises they make, or don’t make.

“This is really an opportunity to study a rare event, and it allows us to study triggers to animal behaviors,” Pijanowski said. “Are some of the crickets that sing at night going to start singing during the middle of the day? Is the cardinal that is normally singing during the day going to stop singing?”

Purdue’s Soundscape Ecology team partners with Wildlife Acoustics to document the sounds of nature. The company has 100 recording devices in 18 key research sites throughout North America, but citizen scientists are encouraged to support the project by downloading and using the Record the Earth app.

The free app can be downloaded from www.recordtheearth.org, through Google Play store or iTunes.