A team of British bat researchers have developed an iPhone and Android app that can be used to identify and geolocate bats. The program, dubbed iBats picks up the bats echolocation pulses when the someone holds their phone in the air and turns it on, a job that would have required at least three pieces of equipment previously.
As the data is recorded it is sent to the Indicator Bats Program website, and added to the other data compiled from ongoing acoustic bat monitoring projects in the UK, Eastern Europe, Ukraine, Russia and Japan.
At present, a special ultrasonic microphone add-on is required to record the bats, however the developers are looking for solutions so that anyone would be able to record the bats.
Some of the organizations involved in the development of the app include the Zoological Society of London, the UK’s Bat Conservation Trust, the Darwin Initiative, the Leverhulme Trust, MSM Software and Atomic Powered.
News of this app excites Susan Kwasniak, spokeswoman for Bat Conservation International, who is hopeful that active engagement with the general public will help to advance conservation of bats.
For more information on the Indicator Bats Program and iBats, visit http://www.ibats.org.uk.