Where have all the cicadas gone?
The New Forest cicada is the only cicada native to the UK. During May to July it sings with a very characteristic high-pitched song, which is at the limits of human hearing, and is particularly difficult for most adults to hear. Sightings of the cicada within the New Forest date back to 1812, but the last unconfirmed sighting was in 2000!
That’s why a team of computer scientists from the University of Oxford and the University of Southampton have been deploying acoustic devices, called AudioMoth, in the New Forest, that can detect and recognise the song of the cicada, with the hope of rediscovering it in 2018.
The Big Question we asked Professor Alex Rogers, who leads the experiment, is: Where have all the cicadas gone?