Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Researchers Use "Voice Recognition" Program To Count Bats

Date:
November 2, 1999
Source:
Ohio State University
Summary:
Researchers here have shown that computer technology can be used to help estimate how many bats are in an area, simply by analyzing recorded bat calls.

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Researchers here have shown that computer technology can be used to help estimate how many bats are in an area, simply by analyzing recorded bat calls.

Related Articles


Researchers used a computerized neural network that differentiates between the distinct vocal patterns of individual bats. The program helped estimate how many bats produced the calls that were recorded. This neural network is similar to computer voice recognition programs for humans.

The findings are especially promising for habitat managers, according to Stephen Burnett, study co-author and a graduate student in evolution, ecology and organismal biology at Ohio State University.

"Relying on a computer to separate the recorded voices is one way of determining the number of animals in an area without disturbing them in their natural habitat," he said.

Burnett presented the findings November 3 in Columbus at a meeting of the Acoustical Society of America. Burnett co-authored the study with Mitchell Masters, an associate professor of evolution, ecology and organismal biology at Ohio State.

Scientists who study animals typically spend a great deal of time in the field capturing and tagging the animals in order to roughly estimate how many of a given species are in a particular area. But now scientists can simply record vocal sounds and then transfer the recorded calls to the computer. The neural network analyzes and separates the calls, giving an estimate of how many bats made the calls.

Certain species of bats have sonar-like capabilities. That is, they emit sound waves -- or echolocation calls -- that bounce off nearby objects. While flying, echolocation allows these bats to detect obstacles and food.

Burnett and Masters recorded 1,449 echolocation calls from 24 big brown bats (Eptesicus fuscus) to test the neural network. All bats were housed at Ohio State's bat lab.

The researchers put each bat on a platform and recorded their calls. They then input the vocal data into the computer. The neural network evaluated each call based on 10 variables, including length, time and frequency.

The neural network gave the researchers a close estimate of the number of bats that produced a set of calls. The program estimated 29 bats in the group of 24 studied. "That's a reasonable estimate for the number of animals present," he said.

Like other mammals, bats produce calls through their larynx, or voice box. The call is like a fast, high-pitched whistle, inaudible to the human ear. "If we slow the echolocation call down, its sound is sort of like a chirp," Burnett said. "Humans can't hear any more than a click, because our ears can't hear that fast."

A grant from the National Institutes of Health division of deafness and communication disorders supported this research.

Ohio State's bat laboratory has a web site at: http://www.biosci.ohio-state.edu/~eeob/batlab/index.html


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Ohio State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Ohio State University. "Researchers Use "Voice Recognition" Program To Count Bats." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 November 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/11/991102064813.htm>.
Ohio State University. (1999, November 2). Researchers Use "Voice Recognition" Program To Count Bats. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 27, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/11/991102064813.htm
Ohio State University. "Researchers Use "Voice Recognition" Program To Count Bats." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/11/991102064813.htm (accessed March 27, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Friday, March 27, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Jockey Motion Tracking Reveals Racing Prowess

Jockey Motion Tracking Reveals Racing Prowess

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Mar. 26, 2015) Using motion tracking technology, researchers from the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) are trying to establish an optimum horse riding style to train junior jockeys, as well as enhance safety, health and well-being of both racehorses and jockeys. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Botswana Talks to End Illegal Wildlife Trade

Botswana Talks to End Illegal Wildlife Trade

AFP (Mar. 25, 2015) Experts are gathering in Botswana to try to end the illegal wildlife trade that is decimating populations of elephants, rhinos and other threatened species. Duration: 01:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Elephants Help Keep 18-Wheeler From Toppling Over

Elephants Help Keep 18-Wheeler From Toppling Over

Newsy (Mar. 25, 2015) The Natchitoches Parish Sheriff&apos;s Office discovered two elephants keeping a tractor-trailer that had gotten stuck in some mud upright on a highway. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Baby 'pet' Orangutan Rescued from Chicken Cage Takes First Steps

Baby 'pet' Orangutan Rescued from Chicken Cage Takes First Steps

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Mar. 25, 2015) Buti, a baby orangutan who was left malnourished in a chicken cage before his rescue, takes his first steps after months of painful physical therapy. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins