BatAMP - Bat Acoustic Monitoring Portal

About BatAMP - Bat Acoustic Monitoring Portal

The objective of this group is to better understand migratory movements of bats and seasonal activity (especially winter) throughout North America. 

The Bat Acoustic Monitoring Portal (Bat AMP) provides a place where users can  archive and visualize datasets generated from any type of acoustic detector or species identification process.  The goal is to combine a large number of datasets so both prominent and more subtle patterns in the data can be explored.

Tools are provided to instantly generate plots of activity patterns, by species, from individual datasets and aggregates of multiple datasets.  More importantly patterns of species occurrence are mapped and can be animated over time to observe changes in distribution over time (e.g., seasonal changes).

When datasets are shared within the group, they are automatically linked so that users can visualize patterns of species occurrence over large spatial extents (e.g. regionally)  and various time scales (e.g. seasonally, annually). For more information about this project, become a contributor, or view currently available datasets, please visit the BatAMP website for the most current information.

 

What can you do?

 Bat researchers and citizen scientists alike can contribute to the BatAMP dataset, then explore the dataset online with other collaborators across North America. 

  • Upload spreadsheets with echolocation monitoring data
  • Visualize monitoring data in maps and charts
  • Contribute to a growing database of bat monitoring data

What tools do you need to contribute to BatAMP?

BatAMP accepts spreadsheets, most often generated by using one of the available bat acoustic data analysis applications, or by manually organizing your data into a BatAMP compatible spreadsheet. Until recently, the hardware, software, data management, and post processing burden of maintaining a long-term bat acoustic monitoring station was unrealistic for most people to attain. Minimum equipment required for a BatAMP-compatible monitoring station is:

  • Bat detector which records time-stamped files
  • Analysis software to remove noise files, and either automatically attempt to identify bat calls or allow the user to manually identify files
  • A BatAMP account

There is a great number of bat monitoring hardware and software solutions available, and BatAMP is designed to accept results from all combinations. Bat Conservation and Management has worked closely with SonoBat to develop a system that removes many of the barriers for long term projects. BCM chose SonoBat due to it's consistently superior performance in accuracy and precision of reporting correct bat call classifications. SonoBat in turn has developed a BatAMP-friendly export that streamlines creating spreadsheets ready to be uploaded to BatAMP moderators, thereby reducing the amount of post processing hassle required. SonoBat has further removed many barriers in post-processing by creating the SonoBatLIVE recording application. This software allows the user to pre-program site specific metadata, smart filenames, and almost always only records bat calls, and assigns a species ID to the best recordings. After a recording session, the users opens the data in the main SonoBat analysis app (the SonoVet function) to manually review any species of interest, but otherwise generates the correct spreadsheet by using the BatAMP specific export option in SonoBat. This workflow is simpler for the end user than any other solution available. BCM's recommended equipment for a BatAMP workflow:

BatAMP is interested in long-term datasets lasting months, but preferably year-round data. When setting up a permanent monitoring station, ideally your Windows 10 computer is situated near a window or someplace a cable can be run outside, or in an outbuilding with power.  Consider a few USB extension cables to elevate a microphone outdoors, preferably 10'-20' above ground, and at least a few feet from walls, branches, trees, roofs, etc. Please review this article for tips on siting bat detector microphones and weatherproofing.