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Disappearance of cicadas discussed on podcast


‘Where have all the cicadas gone?’ is the question addressed by Professor Alex Rogers in the latest podcast released by Oxford Sparks.

The New Forest Cicada is the only cicada native to the UK – sightings date back to 1812 – but the last unconfirmed sighting of it was in 2000. Professor Alex Rogers is leading an experiment with the hope of rediscovering it in the New Forest this year.

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, which can detect and recognise the song of the cicada. 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.

Oxford Sparks is a portal used to engage the public with exciting science taking place across the University.

Alex’s podcast is at: