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The following people are involved with this project:

More about this project

Bats are important biodiversity indicator species that help us to keep track of the health of our environment, but as cryptic nocturnal mammals, researching their distributions and the status of their populations is scientifically challenging. Current bat detecting equipment is expensive and methods for call identification require specialist knowledge, are time- consuming and often subjective. We propose to develop an innovative prototype smartphone application which will:

  • Take transformed ultrasonic signals from an external high quality microphone.
  • Display the recorded calls on-phone in real time using open source sonogram software that we will adapt for the purpose.
  • Create algorithms to enable the isolation, characterisation and identification of calls on-phone.

Coupled with the GPS signal from the smartphone, this will provide researchers with much needed accurate information about species distributions that can feed into national research programmes and inform conservation policy.

The smartphone user will get instant feedback from the app, engaging and retaining public participation in this vital research. The app and algorithms will be made available to the wider FE/HE community for use in other institutions with the potential to be applied to a number of other research domains.

Project dates
01 Jul 2012
Project funder:
Project collaborator(s):
Institute of Zoology
Zoological Society of London
Bat Conservation Trust
Project group:
Research & Development / ILRT
Dave Kilbey