Thursday, July 14, 2016
Linda Van Hoosen, Communications
For many people, bats invoke the image of old vampire movies or they are nuisances that get into your attic. However, bats are a valuable part of our environment. Some species are rare and protected by federal law. The Environmental team at Olsson Associates offers bat acoustic monitoring to clients who need to know which species live and migrate within the scope of their projects.
Most bats are a natural form of pest control because they eat insects such as mosquitos. Olsson environmental scientists Amy Oden and Paige Anderson recently monitored for bats on the roof of an Olsson office to verify equipment operation and settings prior to deployment at a project site. Unlike birds or other wildlife, bats use discrete pulses of sound that are almost completely above the typical human range of hearing. Special acoustic detectors must be used for bat detection.
These detectors are commonly used to evaluate bat species present; often, the focus is on presence of threatened and endangered bat species such as the northern long-eared bat and Indiana bat.
The sound files collected from the monitoring sessions are put through acoustic analyzers that identify species based on sound characteristics. Automated species identifications are also often manually inspected by Olsson environmental scientists for accuracy.
The acoustic monitoring of bats provides clients needed information about the activity and presence of bat species to assist with project planning and species conservation.
If you would like more information about acoustic bat monitoring, contact Amy Oden at 402.458.5020 or Paige Anderson at 402.458.5039.