London Blog

Scientific app of the week: meet the Batphone

Another for Nature Network London’s collection of scientific smartphone apps: iBats.

Can’t name this bat? Perhaps you need to record its call

iBats has been developed by ZSL in collaboration with the Bat Conservation Trust, Dr. George Roussos of Birkbeck, University of London, Dr. Brock Craft of London Knowledge Lab, Institute of Education, and Dr. Adam Talcott of Atomic Powered, USA.

The iBats app is designed to support an existing programme of the same name: a global monitoring programme with 700 volunteer bat trackers who track bats and record their calls. Currently this means carrying three bits of equipment round with them: now with the iBats app, they need only their smartphone and an ultrasonic microphone. Whenever a volunteer sees a bat, they direct the microphone at it and the app will record the sound, which can then be uploaded to the website and the bat in question identified.

iBats is currently tracking bats in the UK, Eastern Europe, Ukraine, Russia and Japan, and ZSL hopes that this new app will make it easier for more volunteers to join the effort. So if you like bats and have a iPhone or Android phone, head over to iBats and find out how to get involved.

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