Instructions
This is the sampling protocol that has been refined together with our sampling teams all over the world.

Please read the instructions carefully before starting sampling.

When you first receive the equipment, prepare it before going into the field by following the Getting Started Manual. Download the manual from the "Manuals" section below.

When you set up your field site, follow the steps in the "Field setup" section below.

For weekly sampling, there are instructions under each method as separate sections below.

For data uploading after sampling, follow the steps in the Software User Manual. Download the manual from the "Manuals" section below.

For shipping physical samples after sampling, follow the steps in "Shipping soil and cyclone samples" and "Shipping Malaise samples".

There is a technical troubleshooting section at the bottom of the page. 

Manuals

Download Getting Started Manual (pdf) Version 6 updated October 18 2022

Download Software User Guide (pdf) Version 8 updated August 22 2022

Download Software User Guide en Espanol (pdf) Version 7 updated Jan 11 2022

The one-hectare sampling plot
Lifeplan apps

All the metadata for the samples is collected via the Lifeplan app. The app requires the use of a smartphone in the field. For more information and detailed instructions please download the software manual from the Manuals section above.

The audio recorders have to have their date and time settings reset each week using an app. Install the free AudioMoth app by Open Acoustic Devices on your phone, available on App Store and Play Store. It will enable you to set the correct UTC time on the AudioMoths in the field by playing a chime.

Links to download the AudioMoth app

Field site setup

Before going to the field

When you receive all the equipment, perform the steps in the Getting Started Manual, which you can download in the Manuals section above.

Cyclone sampler Setup

Select a place that:

  • Is roughly in the middle of your one-hectare plot.
  • Is easy to access: remember car batteries are heavy. The sampler should be at least 15 metres from any roads to avoid dust from traffic.
  • Has room for the sampler’s wind plate to rotate freely.
  • Has room for the battery to sit next to it protected from rain OR has access to a power supply. If possible, a roof over the cyclone sampler, at 2 metre height, with an area of a couple of square metres, helps protect from rain and will not disrupt sampling.
  • Has level, firm ground: the legs of the sampler should not sink in the ground.
  • Place the sampler so that it is level. Please use a spirit level. This will enable the wind plate to rotate and direct the sampler into the wind.

The sampler comes with crocodile grips for connecting to a 12 V car battery.

If you have a long travel time to the site and need to reduce the number of weekly visits, you can

  1. Set up a timer (to be provided upon special request), that cuts off power to the sampler after 24 hours: this way you don’t have to do the third visit but just collect the tube the following Monday.
  2. Only do one sample a week: make sure you contact us before deciding to do this so we can make sure there is no other way. The second sample is valuable, so we want to collect it if at all possible.

If you need a timer or to discuss taking only one sample a week, please email lifeplan@helsinki.fi

Malaise trap setup

The trap design depends on insects moving towards the highest and lightest part of the trap. The trap should be placed near the center of the one-hectare sampling plot. When mounting, make sure that the collecting part of the trap (i.e. the trap head) is directed towards the equator (north in the Southern hemisphere and south in the Northern hemisphere). Also make sure that the collecting part is the highest part of the trap, so avoid placing the trap on a downhill slope with the collecting part lowest. When possible, position the trap at a right angle to an insect flight line, in areas with low undergrowth; forest edges or clearings and elevated sites are recommended.  

Consider possibilities of wildlife disturbance and/or human vandalism; the trap may be relocated if consistent issues persist after deployment. Ensure that all proper specimen collecting permissions are obtained (i.e. from local authorities, property owners, etc.). 

There is a video instruction to set up the malaise trap at the left of this section. 

After arriving at your field site, assemble the trap securely, according to the Malaise trap instruction sheet. When possible, tie the front and/or back ropes to nearby trees for added support. 

In case of high winds, attach the trap poles to a 6- to 8-foot stake or post at its highest points to protect the trap against falling over from high winds.

Attach the QR code sticker to the tent pole.

Use the Lifeplan app to place the bottle. Tightly affix the prepared collection bottle to the trap head; cover the bottle with foil, tie the white ropes on the trap around the bottle to secure it. Begin the collection on a day of the week you can consistently return to for the duration of the sampling period.

It is critical that we employ standardized operating procedures for the Malaise trapping. Our coordinated efforts will ensure specimen preservation for sequence analysis and high data quality, permitting the comparison of sites at a global scale. For global standardization with the BIOSCAN initiative, of which LIFEPLAN is a part, we have adopted all the same basic protocols as used in the Global Malaise Program. LIFEPLAN will be based on bulk processing (metabarcoding) of samples.

Camera trap setup

Four camera traps will be set up in each corner of your one-hectare plot, and one in the middle of the plot. An accuracy of about 10 meters is fine. The camera traps will be mounted on trees. If there are no suitable trees, please put up sturdy posts (e.g. tree posts used for fences or similar). The tree/post should be sturdy enough to withstand weather and not sway in windy conditions (this might trigger the camera).

Mount the cameras at a height of 0.5 metres from the ground. If there is snow, move the camera up or down accordingly so it starts each week 0.5 m above the snow. If needed, cut down vegetation in front of the camera to give visibility and to reduce false triggering by vegetation moving in the wind. If you feel this camera height is impossible at your location, contact lifeplan@helsinki.fi to work out a solution.

Use the mounting strap to mount the camera to the tree. If your site is insecure and prone to theft, let us know at lifeplan@helsinki.fi and we can supply Python cables for added security. The camera traps should be faced north in the northern hemisphere and south in the southern hemisphere to avoid glare from the sun. Try to choose a place with the least amount of obscuring vegetation, and don't point the center camera at the cyclone sampler and Malaise trap. 

When you have found a good spot, set up the camera with the LIFEPLAN pre-settings (with the Night Mode change listed in the Getting Started manual). The camera trap should be perpendicular to the ground in front of the camera. This will mean a bit of extra work if the tree is on a slope, as the camera will need to be angled either upwards or downwards (down is better, to avoid glare). This can be done with sticks or stones that are found at the site. When you have deployed the camera trap, note down for yourself where the camera trap is positioned so you easily find it again. Make a note if there are any interesting features in the immediate area that might affect detection (for example game trails). Once the camera is running with fresh batteries and memory cards, secure the latch with a cable tie to prevent tampering.

Please put up appropriate signage by the camera traps according to local legislation. The signage may depend on whether you are on private property or a public place.

Good things to keep in mind:

  • Try to choose a tree that looks like it will keep standing the entire study period. The cameras should, if possible, be mounted in the same spot throughout the project.
  • If you are in an open habitat and you put up a post, keep in mind that it might be seen as an excellent scratching post for local wildlife. So try to make sure the post is as sturdy as possible! 
  • Keep an eye out for nearby nests (like ants or termites) that could make maintenance difficult for you. 
  • Keep in mind that the audio recorders will be mounted on the same trees/posts, so there should be some free space above the cameras.
  • The camera traps are motion triggered day and night using a passive infrared sensor and will be set to operate continuously at each sampling plot.

To start sampling for the first time:

  1. In the LIFEPLAN app, select "Place" and scan the QR code on the camera trap and then the QR code on the SD card. 
  2. Check that the camera is OFF.
  3. Insert charged batteries if you haven't done it earlier.
  4. Insert the SD card.
  5. Check that camera is in correct date and UTC time: Turn the camera to SETUP. You should see live picture on the screen. Hold the right arrow button down to see the camera date and time in red text over the screen. If incorrect, Press MENU and navigate to Other > Date/time to correct it. You can find current UTC time conveniently in the Audiomoth app.
  6. Take a "start picture" to calibrate time: Hold your phone screen, with the Audiomoth app in Dark Mode, about 20 cm from the lens of the camera. You should be able to see your phone on the camera screen to help position it. Press OK to take a picture manually. Quickly check the image by pressing the up arrow. Try to avoid reflections or glare. It is okay that the text is blurry. If you have trouble in low light conditions, try lowering the brightness on your phone.
  7. Turn the camera trap ON. Strap the camera trap in its tree. It is now motion activated and on, so it will take pictures of you if you walk in front of it. Secure the latch with a cable tie to prevent tampering.

Audio recorder set up

Before going in the field, follow the steps in the Getting Started Manual.

LIFEPLAN Audiomoth firmware zip file: download and unzip to update Audiomoth

Attach the five audio recorders to the same trees as the five camera traps, but higher up. Four recorders should be at the four corners of your one-hectare plot, and one in the middle of the plot. An accuracy of about 10 meters is fine. If there are no trees, please put up sturdy posts where they can be mounted at about 1 or 2 meter height.

Please put up appropriate signage by the recorders according to local legislation. Appropriate signage will likely depend on whether you are on private property or in a public space. Note that legislation for audio recording is more strict than for cameras in many countries.

To start the first recording, 

  1. In the LIFEPLAN app, select "Place", and then scan the AudioMoth QR code and the microSD card QR code on the microSD card.
  2. Insert the microSD card in the Audiomoth.
  3. Insert charged batteries.
  4. Set the correct UTC time with the Clock app: switch to DEFAULT mode and play the chime from the app until the green flashing light stops flashing and stays on.
  5. Switch to CUSTOM to start recording. 
  6. Put the recorder in its waterproof case, with the microphone symbol aligned with the grey acoustic vent. Close the case and mount it with the strap.
Cyclone sampling

Equipment provided

Equipment you provide

  • 2 x 12 V car batteries, or mains power
  • Freezer (preferred) or refrigerator for sample storage
  • Disposable gloves (if available)
  • Smartphone with the lifeplan app

Weekly sampling

(The weekdays do not have to be exactly Monday-Wednesday, as long as they are the same three consecutive days every week.)

On Monday morning: bring a fully charged 12 V car battery and one vial. 

Using the LIFEPLAN app, place the first vial of the week: Remove and open the cyclone unit. Wearing a glove, screw in the empty vial you just scanned. Store the cap safely. Reassemble and replace the cyclone unit. Connect the battery and listen for the vacuum pump running.

24 hours later: bring another fully charged 12 V car battery and another vial. Disconnect the old battery. Using the app, collect the first sample: Remove and open the cyclone unit. wearing a glove, remove and close the first vial. Take care to use its original lid.

Use the app again to place the second vial. Wearing a glove, screw in the empty vial you just scanned. Store the new cap safely. Reassemble and replace the cyclone unit. Connect the new battery and listen for the vacuum pump running. Take the old battery with you for recharging.

Another 24 hours later, disconnect the battery. Remove and open the cyclone unit. Using the app, collect the second vial: Remove and open the cyclone unit. wearing a glove, remove and close the second vial. Take care to use its original lid. 

In addition, the car battery providing the energy for the sampler needs to be charged between Wednesday and Monday.

Place a coloured dot sticker or make a cross with a marker onto the second sample of the week.

The collected vials should be stored in a freezer or refrigerator. If you notice the labels are becoming loose, please tape them carefully.

Shipping: see section "Shipping soil and cyclone samples".

Troubleshooting: see "Troubleshooting" at the bottom of this page.

Malaise trapping

Equipment provided:

  • Malaise trap kit including assembly instruction sheet
  • 500ml Collection bottles with QR codes
  • Decanting lid
  • Nitex filters

Equipment you provide:

  • 95% or stronger ethanol, NOT denatured, for preserving samples
  • Ethanol waste container
  • Cooler box: styrofoam or similar
  • Freezer (preferred) or refrigerator for sample storage
  • Paper towels
  • Aluminium foil if possible
  • Smartphone with the Lifeplan app

Preparation

Fill one collection bottle 3 / 5 full (~300ml) with 95% ethanol at the time of deployment. Do not substitute with other kinds of alcohol or other preservatives. If possible, wrap the bottle in aluminium foil to protect from the sun. If you find in the following weeks that the ethanol tends to evaporate, increase the amount. If you get so much insect mass that the bottle overflows, decrease the amount.

Collection & Monitoring

Use the LIFEPLAN app to collect the catch once a week during the insect activity period (i.e. during non-freezing temperatures). Remove the catch on the same day each week. When collecting the previous sample, wipe the trap head with a clean paper towel, to avoid dead insects from remaining between weeks. Use the LIFEPLAN app to place a new malaise bottle, screw on the new bottle, cover it with foil and tie the ropes around the bottle.

Carry out a weekly check of the malaise trap. In particular, check it after strong winds or heavy rain. In the event of damage, malfunction or other concerns contact lifeplan@helsinki.fi for maintenance suggestions and replacement parts.

Storage

When in the field, store the sample in a shaded cooler, shielded from light. When back from the field, ideally, place the samples in a standard household freezer (i.e. -20°C) for storage. Ensure that the entire insect mass is fully submerged in ethanol before storage; add fresh ethanol to the sample bottle if needed.  

If a freezer is unavailable, store the samples in a refrigerator or cool, dark location. This is critical to preserve the DNA in the samples; improper storage will result in DNA degradation rendering samples unusable for DNA sequencing (e.g. under constant light, heat or variable temperatures). 

Shipment: see section "Shipping Malaise samples"

Audio recording

Equip­ment provided

  • Five AudioMoth 1.0 recorders with waterproof cases
  • Straps for mounting
  • AA Batteries
  • Battery charger
  • microSD cards
  • Memory card reader
  • External hard drive
  • USB DATA cable

Equipment you provide

  • Smartphone with the lifeplan app and audiomoth app

AudioMoth and microSD card setup

Refer to the Getting started Manual for detailed instructions for how to install the audiomoth firmware.

The audio recorders will be pre-programmed by a CONFIG file on the microSD card to record at set periods. The middle recorder will record at bird frequencies continuously for two days a week and then 1 minute in every ten minutes, while the recorders at the corners will record at bird frequencies for 1 minute every 10 minutes and listen for bats in between. Mark the cards that will be used for the middle AudioMoth with a red dot. 

Download the config files:

CONFIG CORNER. Download and rename "CONFIG" to use on corner recorders. Version May 28 2021

CONFIG MIDDLE. Download and rename "CONFIG" to use on middle recorder (red dot). Version May 28 2021

Rename the files so that they are both called "CONFIG".

  • Copy the CONFIG file from the CONFIG MIDDLE folder to the middle SD card (red dot sticker).
  • Copy the CONFIG file from the CONFIG CORNER folder to the corner SD cards (no red dot)

Weekly sampling

At each audio recorder:

  1. Switch AudioMoth to USB/OFF
  2. Wait for red light to stop blinking. If a green light is on or blinking it is not switched to USB/OFF, please check the switch position.
  3. Remove the microSD card. In the LIFEPLAN app, select "Collect", and then scan the AudioMoth QR code and the microSD card QR code.
  4. Put the collected microSD card in its adapter for safekeeping
  5. In the LIFEPLAN app, select "Place", and then scan the AudioMoth QR code and the microSD card QR code on the new, empty card.
  6. Insert the new microSD card in the Audiomoth.
  7. Replace batteries.
  8. Set the correct UTC time with the Clock app

              - switch to DEFAULT mode, the green light should blink

           - play the chime from the app until the green flashing light stops flashing and stays on.

    9. Switch to CUSTOM to start recording.

  10. Put the recorder back in its case and mount in place.

 

When you return from the field, upload the data to us, format the cards and put the correct CONFIG files on the cards. Follow the steps in "Chapter 4: Upload photos and audio files" in our Software User Manual, which can be downloaded from "Manuals" section of this page.

Camera trapping

Equipment provided

Download the general user manual for Lifeplan cameras (pdf)

  • Camera traps: new custom model "4.0C" from Wildlife Monitoring Solutions 
  • Cable ties
  • Batteries
  • Battery charger
  • SD cards
  • Memory card reader
  • External hard drive

Equipment you provide

  • Smartphone with the Lifeplan app and Audiomoth app

    Weekly sampling

    Make sure you have enough charged batteries for all the cameras, and that you have a system in place to separate empty batteries from the charged ones. When arriving at a camera, do a quick scan of the camera and the area to check if anything is out of the ordinary. You will be able to note down any anomalies in the LIFEPLAN app (for example if the camera is facing in the wrong direction or is lying on the ground).

    1. Take the "end picture" of the Audiomoth chime app screen in dark mode:
      • Open the camera.
      • Set the camera to SETUP and enter the password. The screen on the camera should by default be in camera mode.
      • Open the chime app on your phone and position it about 20 cm from the lens on the camera. You should be able to see your phone on the camera screen to help position it. Press OK to take a picture manually.
      • Quickly check the image by pressing the up arrow. Try to avoid reflection or glare. It is okay that the text is blurry but it needs to be clearly visible (the YES! picture in the left sidebar is a good image).
      • Notice! If you have trouble getting a good image in low light conditions, try lowering the brightness on your phone.
    2. Turn OFF the camera before removing the SD card.
    3. Take out the full SD card. 
    4. In the LIFEPLAN app, select "Collect" and scan the QR code on the camera trap and then the QR code on the collected SD card. Store the SD card in a safe way until you return from the field.
    5. Check that the batteries still have 1 bar of charge. If it is below 1 bar, change the batteries.
    6. Use the LIFEPLAN app again, selecting "Place" to scan the QR code on the camera trap and then the QR code on the new SD card.
    7. Insert the new SD card.
    8. Take the "start picture" of the Audiomoth chime app screen in dark mode:
      • Open the camera.
      • Set the camera to SETUP and enter the password. The screen on the camera should by default be in camera mode.
      • Open the chime app on your phone and position it about 20 cm from the lens on the camera. You should be able to see your phone on the camera screen to help position it. Press OK to take a picture manually.
      • Quickly check the image by pressing the up arrow. Try to avoid reflection or glare. It is okay that the text is blurry but it needs to be clearly visible (the YES! picture in the left sidebar is a good image).

     

    Soil sampling

    Note: From 2023, the sampling frequency has been reduced from eight times a year to four times a year

    Equip­ment provided

    • Disposable gloves (on request, if possible obtain locally)
    • Clear plastic bags for mixing soil samples
    • Paper glassine bags
    • QR codes for paper bags
    • Airtight Zip-lock bags
    • Silica gel

    Equip­ment you provide

    • Knife (sharp and strong, at least 5 cm blade) OR 5 cm corer
    • Gardening spade or spoon
    • Tablespoon
    • Ruler to measure 5 cm depth
    • Ethanol / flame
    • Cooler box: styrofoam or similar
    • Freezer (preferred) or refrigerator for sample storage

    Sampling sched­ule

    At each site, you should take soil samples four times a year. The four sampling events should be distributed evenly over the entire plant growing season. Thus, in the Arctic region, the sampling times will be distributed along the few months of plant growth (i.e. the snow-free season), whereas in tropical regions the sampling times will be distributed over the whole year.

    Sampling

    Four times a year, take five compound soil samples, one from the center of the plot and one from each corner, around where the cameras and audio recorders are. Each compound sample is made up of three cores.

    To avoid contaminating and cross-contaminating the samples, wear disposable gloves (or plastic bags over your hands) and change them each time when handling soil from a different point. Clean the tools with ethanol or flame between the sampling points.

    The soil samples are taken using a spoon and a knife/garden spade depending on the terrain. (If very rocky, then a trowel may be the easiest way to gather sufficient free soil. If turfy/boggy/generally soft then a sharp knife works well.)

    Steps in the field:

    1. Remove any layer of live cryptogams (including moss, lichen or algae) and loose debris from the sampling area (such as dry or uncompacted leaves, branches, twigs, loose needles…). Keep the litter layer, i.e. any layers which remain stuck to the ground. In habitats that have a lot of litter (such as tropical rainforests), take the sample when there is 2 cm of litter or less above the soil layer. For peat habitats, start the sample where the decomposed organic matter is smaller than 1 cm.
    2. Use a knife/spade to cut a 5 cm diameter circle. With a tablespoon, dig out the resulting core to a depth of 5 cm into a clear plastic bag. (In compact soil, the core can simple be lifted out as a “cork”.) You can use a 5 cm corer if you have one, and take a 5 cm deep core. Note: Remove any green plant parts. Live plants can be cut at the level of the soil surface.
    3. Dig two more cores within 1 or 2 metres of the first core, removing green plant parts as you go. Place all three cores together in the same bag.
    4. Mix the soil in the bag by holding the bag closed with one hand and scrunching the outside of the bag with the other hand. With gloved hands, break down bigger soil or litter clumps. Note: You don’t want to tear a whole leaf into pieces, just separate decomposed bits of litter and soil that may have aggregated together.
    5. Still with gloved hands, discard big particles such as stones, litter, wood pieces and plant roots. The remaining soil can include organic matter with a particle size 1 cm or less.
    6. Finally take a subsample of three tablespoons of soil into a paper bag. The subsample should not contain any bigger particles, clumps or pieces.
    7. Label the bag with a QR code. Scan the QR code on the paper bag with the LIFEPLAN app. In the sample location section, select corner 1, 2, 3 or 4 or middle.
    8. Do these steps five times, at the four corners and middle of the plot, to collect five compound samples.

    Drying the samples:

    Once you have closed the paper bag that contains the soil, you can place it in the ziplock that contains orange silica. Flatten the bag a bit to remove some of the air before sealing it. When the silica turns blue, reopen the bag and swap out the blue silica for orange silica. Repeat this every few hours until the silica remains orange. How long this will take will depend a lot on how humid your soil and environment is. Once the silica is mostly orange, the sample can be placed in the freezer. It is good to leave a bit of silica beads to make sure the environment remains dry. The used silica can be dried  and re-used for other samples. To dry silica, the best way is to bake in an oven at 100 degrees celsius until it turns orange again. It takes a few hours, check periodically.

    Shipping: see the next section.

    Ship­ping soil and cyc­lone samples

    Ship­ping of cyc­lone vi­als and soil samples:

    • At least twice per year, post the samples to the LIFEPLAN project team in Uppsala, Sweden.
    • You can send the cyclone samples and soil samples in the same parcel. Make sure the soil samples are at least double bagged (see video on the  left) and cyclone samples are also in a separate bag or microtube box.
    • Please do NOT choose dry ice or biohazard shipping as these are unnecessary and very expensive.
    • Make sure to select the option to "Deliver at the listed address", NOT "at service point".

    Cyc­lone samples

    • Carefully pack the tubes to ensure the labels will not be damaged in transport. If you have one, use a micro-tube box.
    • If you are sending samples from outside the European Union, you will need to include a description for customs. In the customs declaration or invoice please state:
    • ”Air samples for scientific research. No commercial value. Non-hazardous”
    • Tariff code: ”HS-97050000”
    • The declared value should be e.g. 1 euro or 1 dollar. A template invoice is available if you email us at lifeplan@helsinki.fi.

    Soil samples

    • When preparing the soil samples for shipping, please ensure that the individual paper bags are sealed shut either using the QR sticker or a piece of tape. Please be careful so the paper bags don’t rip.
    • Check that you have written your site name on the label.
    • Place each individual paper bag into its own plastic ziplock. This ziplock should contain some silica. Seal the bag. Make sure the silica is orange (=dry) before sending off the samples.
    • Place all the smaller bags into a larger bag and seal it.

    If you are sending samples from outside the EU:

    • Check that you have the appropriate export permits from your country, print a copy of the permit.
    • Print the SLU soil import permit (pdf) here. The current permit is valid until September 4, 2023.
    • In the customs declaration and/or invoice please state:
    • ”scientific research samples, no commercial value, non hazardous”
    • Tarif code: ”HS-97050000”
    • The total declared value should be e.g. 1 euro or 1 dollar. A template invoice is available if you email us at lifeplan@helsinki.fi.

    Sending the soil and cyclone samples to Sweden:

    • Send the samples as a tracked parcel, email the tracking number to lifeplan@helsinki.fi and, if possible, a photo of the parcel showing the address.
    • Place all documents on the outside of the parcel.
    • Make sure to select the option to "Deliver at the listed address", NOT "at service point".
    • Ship cyclone and soil samples to:

     

    Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
    Attn: D.Kerdraon 
    Department of Ecology
    Ulls väg 18 B
    75651 Uppsala
    SWEDEN
    Phone: (+46) 018671912
    Email: lifeplan@helsinki.fi

    Shipping Malaise samples

    Shipping Malaise Samples:

    • Notify ccdbcol@uoguelph.ca, cc: lifeplan@helsinki.fi, that you are ready to ship a package; indicate the number of samples you will include.
    • If you can, send a photo of the Malaise trap and its surrounding habitat to lifeplan@helsinki.fi be used for media purposes.
    • Determine the export requirements from your country; obtain all proper permits if needed (Canada does not require import documents for scientific specimens).
    • Just before shipment, decant off most of the ethanol from each bottle using the decanting lid and nitex filters provided (see video in left sidebar). Thoroughly rinse the nitex filter between samples. There is a 30ml ethanol maximum per container for shipment and a maximum total of 1L ethanol per package as per International Air Transport Association (IATA) regulations. To achieve this, drain the ethanol right down to the insect mass. Shipping 26 samples at a time is recommended.
    • The samples have to be double bagged: Place malaise samples in large plastic bags and seal the bag by rolling the top tightly and taping generously or using a heat sealer.
    • Put some absorbent material inside the second plastic bag and put the sealed bag inside. Seal the second plastic bag in the same manner as the first one.
    • Place the double bagged samples into an appropriately sized box.
    • Print and stick the document detailing the special provision A180 on the box.
    • Download copy of special provision A180 for Malaise samples
    • On the customs declaration and/or invoice, write: Science Specimens for Scientific Study Only, NON HAZARDOUS, No Commercial Value
    • Customs Tariff code: "HS-97050000"
    • Make sure to put a zero (or the smallest permissible minimum) value on the customs declaration form as the samples have no commercial value
    • Content description to appear on waybill: “Special Provision A180 applies”
    • Print the additional customs declaration, downloaded from below. Remember to fill in your name, institution and address in the "From" field.
    • Download pdf of customs declaration for Malaise samples
    • A template invoice is available if you email us at lifeplan@helsinki.fi.
    • Place all documents on the outside of the parcel.
    • Ship to:

      Kate Perez - Sample Submission

      University of Guelph

      Biodiversity Institute of Ontario

      50 Stone Road East

      Guelph, Ontario

      CANADA

      N1G 2W1

      Phone: 519-824-4120 x56393

    Troubleshooting

    Cyclone sampler not working / making loud noise

    Many cyclone sampler issues are caused by screws having come loose during transportation. If yours is making a lot of noise or is otherwise not working right, try opening it up and looking for loose screws.

    Cyclone sampler not working after wrong wire touched the wrong thing:

    Try to first rule out the battery and timer as the cause. Try running the sampler without the timer, and then with a new battery. If the sampler itself is still not working, contact us and we will start arranging a fix or replacement.

    Cyclone sampler not turning

    Unscrew the two grey plastic covers on each site of the axle and carefully remove the axle. Check both ball bearings for water damage and rust. Add engine grease to both ball bearings.

    Put the cyclone sampler back together.

    Audiomoth not recognizing clock setting chime:

    This can be either a software glitch or an issue with the microphone. To rule out a software glitch, try reinstalling the new LIFEPLAN firmware (download from the section "Field site setup"), then try the chime again. If that doesn’t work, contact us and we will send you a replacement Audiomoth.

    Audiomoth flashing green and red light after firmware update, possible causes and fixes:

    • The Audiomoth did not hear the chime app while in default mode. Try removing and replacing the batteries then switching the audiomoth in "default" mode and playing the chime again. Once the light stays solid green, switch the audiomoth to custom
    • The CONFIG file on the SD card was not renamed to CONFIG only so the device cannot read it.
    • The SD cards have failed/glitched, try doing a quick format of the card then reinstall the CONFIG file and follow the steps above.
    • The new firmware did not get installed properly: on your computer, open the audiomoth flash app and, remove all batteries and SD cards before connecting the audiomoth to the computer, check in the flash app that the firmware is called "audiomoth_lifeplan_0_1_2". Try reinstalling the firmware. then test the device by following the chime app steps.
    • If none of these fix the problem, do get back to us and we will keep working on finding the solution.

    Audiomoth recorded no data

    • Reinstall the firmware on the Audiomoth following the instructions in the Getting Started Manual (Downloads section at the top of this page)
    • Format the microSD card (File system exFAT)
    • Put the correct CONFIG file on the memory card (download and see instructions in the Getting Started Guide at the top of this page)
    • If there is still no data recorded, contact us for a replacement. Please do send the broken audiomoth back to us.

    Nextcloud is not syncing right between the local folder and the server:

    Unfortunately due to the large variety of operating systems, local IT department restrictions etc., we are not able to troubleshoot all Nextcloud local client issues. If you have an IT department please contact them, or try the Nextcloud user manual or  support forums. If you still need to ask us for help, please include information about your operating system, and whether you have full administrator rights to the computer or are restricted in some way by your IT department. Screenshots of the problem are helpful.

    Nextcloud is full:

    • Check that you did add the share links in the web admin according to Lifeplan Software User Manual steps 4.5 and 4.6 (the manual is available at the top of this page under Manuals).
    • Check your email for messages from us about any Nextcloud folders that failed to delete or failed to transfer. Fix or delete those according to the instructions in the email. By default, the email goes to the user who scanned the card in the field.
    • Email us so we can check what's going on. If the folders are inside your team folder, we just need to know your team code. If they are not in the team folder, send a list of the folders that are still in your Nextcloud (we need to know the card ID and the collection date, which should be in the name of the folder).

    Camera screen not working

    • This is usually caused by moisture getting in around the screen. Contact us to get a replacement camera and send us the broken one.