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Bat Detective

October 31, 2013

Researchers have created a citizen science website called Bat Detective to get the public involved in analyzing bat calls.

Transcript

BOB HIRSHON (host):

Becoming a bat detective. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

A common pipistrelle bat. (Barracuda1983/Wikipedia)

Every night, bats around the world take to the skies, calling to each other and echolocating for food. Now, anybody can help analyze bat calls and monitor their populations via a citizen science project called Bat Detective. University College London biodiversity scientist Kate Jones and her team recorded millions of bat calls from around Europe, slowed them down 10 times so they’re within the range of human hearing, and uploaded them to a website.

KATE JONES (University College London):

You can actually listen to the bat calls and understand what they sound like. And then from people helping to identify them, we can train the computer to come up with an automatic identifier.

HIRSHON:

She says that will greatly speed up the analysis of hundreds of thousands of hours of bat calls. You can become a bat call classifier at www.batdetective.org. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.