This Bat Locator App Will Make You a Citizen Scientist

This Bat Locator App Will Make You a Citizen Scientist

Ooh! Did you hear that feeding buzz? That was fantastic. Do you see them? Wow! Danielle Gustafson is something of a citizen scientist Not a scientist per se, but someone who voluntarily
collects data, that’s necessary for the study and conservation of species She also leads people on walks in New York’s Central Park to observe and understand the only flying
mammal in the world: Bats. Did you also just know it was going to be bats? That was going to be your thing? Of course not. Of course not. Who picks bats? You did. Or maybe bats picked me. Bats suffer from incredibly bad PR. There are a lot of Dracula connotations And vampire bat connotations Well Batman seems like it actually does a few good
things for the bats, except when they’re actually on screen. Pretty much anything you wanna know about
bats and New York it hasn’t been studied Poor bats. They’re so poorly studied. The citizen scientist movement around bats
and other creatures Is being lifted by a small audio technology company called Wildlife Acoustics We listen to birds, we listen to frogs We listen to bats, we listen to whales Our customers are on the front lines watching major shifts with warming climates and sort of the movement of species now finding
broader ranges where they didn’t use to have, and what effect that has on the ecosystem. Recently, they’ve turned their attention
on hobbyists and citizen scientists The bat detectors that we have now used to cost thousands and thousands of dollars,
and only professionals had them. Wildlife Acoustics makes a range of listening
devices and apps for iOS and Android Like Song Sleuth, a five dollar app that’s
like the Shazam for birdsong And one of their recent releases, the Echo
Meter Touch 2, is basically the Shazam for bats For $179, you can plug in this little accessory,
hold it up to a night sky, and listen for bats The free app that comes with them can identify
them based on the way they echolocate, because all nine species of bats in New York
echolocate in different ways. And for that reason, did you know that’s
why they all have different ears, to catch sonar in different ways? Some bats are echo locating over 100 kilohertz Or 150 kilohertz So it’s way beyond our range of hearing,
and it’s way beyond most microphones and electronics by design. The device brings it down to a frequency that
the human ear can hear, and that’s how you know when to look up And as they get closer and closer to a prey
item, they start echolocating faster and faster and in the very end, when they’re right
on top of the moth, it sounds a little bit like somebody giving
you the raspberry So it’s like tch-tch-tch-tch-tch Plllfffffttt!!! It’s incredibly cool. So far there’s no public database where
citizen scientists can upload their data Thought both Danielle, through her nonprofit
Bat Conservation International And Wildlife Acoustics say it’s something
they want to create I will also say I had kind of a dream to have many people conducting bat walks so kind of like it becoming a thing. So just so you know it’s a thing in England People over there figured out it’s kind
of fun to listen to bats, because once you’ve done it, it’s kind of addictive. It hasn’t exactly caught on but I’m thinking
this technology, the new technology, mobile technology, could change everything.


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    Patrick Kitts

    Unfortunately it's hard to get over that negative pr. Even without it, you're still talking about a beady-eyed, airborne, nocturnal creature, often equipped with fangs, that darts around squeaking through the night sky like a wild zephyr and sleeps hanging upside down. The cuteness factor isn't entirely missing. It's just a bit overshadowed. Unfairly so, if you think about it. We have, for example, the universally endearing "teddy bear", but I don't recall ever seeing or hearing of a "teddy bat", "pooh bat" "honey bat" or "sugar bat".Disney or Pixar studios could help here. They've done it with rats, beasts, hunchbacks, operatic phantoms and other so-called monsters.

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