Happy new year from the Bat Detective team! After data globetrotting over the course of last year, we’ve just uploaded a fresh set of audio data to Bat Detective — this time collected along car transects in the west of Russia between 2009 and 2011, which you can see on the map below. You can listen and help us identify bat calls, insects and other sounds at the Bat Detective website now. And thank you very much, as ever, for your amazing efforts in classifying our Japanese data that have been on the website until now.
2016 was one of our busiest years to date on the Bat Detective project. As we discussed in our last two blog posts, we’re using the data you’re labelling to train increasingly robust and reliable call detection tools, and we’ve also been road-testing these tools on data from a variety of different bat survey situations. All of the sounds you’ve classified over the course of the World Tour will enable us to incorporate a greater diversity of bat calls into the training data, which we hope will make the open-source tools we’re developing more applicable for bat surveys around the globe – so one of our big challenges for the near future will be exploring how best to incorporate all of this new data.
Alongside this, Bat Detective’s Rory Gibb recently spoke about the project at the Bat Conservation Trust’s Southeast Conference in November, and we’ve also had a long article published in the latest issue of Environmental SCIENTIST, called “Bat Detective: citizen science for ecoacoustic biodiversity monitoring”. The issue is available online as a free PDF, which you can read here. All of this has been thanks to the fantastic efforts of the citizen scientist volunteers who have contributed to Bat Detective over the four years of the project, so thank you again for your continued involvement. We’ll keep you updated in the coming months about new data, new publications and new test-cases for our bat detection tools.