What is bat sound analysis?
On every bat survey a detector is used that will record the calls of passing bats. This can be during an emergence survey, to confirm the species of the emerging bat, or during an activity survey, or very often as a static detector, which will record all bat passes over a number of nights. The data is not stored as sound files, such as you might hear through a heterodyne detector, but in a way that produce sonograms. A sonogram is a representation of a sound on a graph.
Each species produces different sounds and all look different when on a graph. Sometimes these differences are extreme, sometimes very subtle. Bat Sound Analysis is the process of looking through these data and seeing what species are on site.
Here at Acorn Ecology we use the software Analook. This is software that is used by many consultancies.
Why learn bat sound analysis?
Much of your time as a Trainee or Assistant Ecologist (and beyond) will be spent analysing sonograms of bats from your survey sites. There can be as many as 3000+ sound files recorded in one night, by one static detector. Multiply this up so that you have two or three detectors on site, for five nights at a time. Then put these out on site on a monthly basis throughout the summer and you suddenly have a LOT of sound files – and that’s just one site! Having the skill to analyse them is a real advantage in what is a very competitive job market.
What do these files look like?
Here’s a couple of examples: Pipistrelles at the top, and greater horseshoe below.
So if you want to be able to tell your Myotis from your barbastelles, and your horseshoes from your noctules, come on the Acorn Ecology Introduction to Sound Analysis Course!
This course will teach you how to get started with Analook, one of the most common pieces of software. (The fundamentals of the course are easily transferrable to other software packages too).
The course covers:
- How bats use sound
- An introduction to using Analook
- Recognising typical UK bat species sonograms
- Produce statistics for your report
- Practice sessions on your own laptop
Much of the course is a practical workshop. We want you to go away feeling confident in your identification skills!
We have expanded this course and we now run a second day, Bat Survey Data: Analysis and Presentation. This course will teach you how to present your data in reports and analyse how bats are using your site. It usually runs the following day from the bat sound analysis course.
Give us a call on 01392 366512 or visit www.ecologytraining.co.uk today for more information.