In this episode for the Big Questions podcast we went to the New Forest and met up with Professor Alex Rogers, from the department of Computer Sciences from the University of Oxford, to ask: Where have all the cicada’s 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 equip the millions of visitors to the forest with a smart phone app that can detect and recognise the song of the cicada, and hopes to rediscover it in 2013.
The Big Question we asked Professor Alex Rogers, who leads the experiment, is: Where have all the cicada’s gone?