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Bioacoustic methods are an excellent way of recording the occurrence, distribution and behavioural patterns in individual animals or populations, thus making a synchronised and continuous record of aspects of biodiversity dynamics over long periods of time, using standardised methods. In order to cope with the huge amounts of data that are automatically collected, innovative methods of pattern recognition for the automatic evaluation of acoustic biodiversity data have been developed. Pilot studies in ecologically relevant areas investigate how changes in biodiversity can be recorded and analysed using acoustic methods. The aim is to develop the most effective strategies for automatic data collection and management, the identification of the range of species in a habitat, using pattern recognition algorithms, and estimating population densities.