Acoustic surveys have become a standard part of bat presence/absence surveys and are becoming increasingly used to document long-term regional bat activity trends as part of the North American Bat Monitoring Program (NABat). While bat detectors are a powerful and non-invasive tool for surveying bat communities, the interpretation of acoustic data can often be problematic. High levels of call variation within species increases overlap among species making presence determinations ambiguous for many species including the federally endangered Indiana bat (Myotis sodalis) and threatened northern long-eared bat (Myotis septentrionalis). It takes multiple years of experience to accurately identify bat echolocation calls, but short-term training can be very effective in making biologists aware of potential pitfalls associated with acoustic data and provide a strong foundation for reliable evaluation of acoustic analyses. We propose a one day workshop (approximately 6 hours) targeted towards graduate students, environmental consultants, and agency biologists that encounter acoustic survey data on a regular basis but have limited formal training or experience. The objectives of the workshop will be to: 1) train attendees on the basics of viewing and categorizing bat echolocation calls and 2) make attendees aware of the particular strengths and weaknesses of acoustic surveys. The ultimate goals will be to enhance the quality of acoustic surveys and the understanding of standard acoustic analyses.
Organizers: Kevin Lager Murray, WEST, Inc., Bloomington, IN; Ashley Matteson, WEST, Inc., Bloomington, IN
Supported by: Western EcoSystems Technology, Inc. (WEST, Inc.)