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Designing effective survey and sampling protocols for passive acoustic monitoring as part of the national bat monitoring 2021


The UK has one of the best developed bat monitoring programmes in the world, but despite this, six of 17 resident bat species in the UK are not currently monitored sufficiently to produce population trends. Large-scale deployment of passive acoustic methods using full spectrum bat detector technology offers a lot of potential for transforming routine monitoring of bat numbers, but it is essential that effective survey and sampling protocols are used if this potential is to be realised.

To guide these decisions, we analysed passive acoustic data collected by volunteers from a study area in south-west Britain to quantify the ability and power to detect population declines in bat numbers in relation to:

  1. whether recording is carried out across the whole night,

  2. whether a record / sleep cycle is used, and

  3. the number of sites surveyed.

Our results indicate that recording should be carried out over the full night to avoid producing biased estimates of decline.

Please note that this report may not be fully accessible. If you require an accessible version, please get in touch.

Resource type Publication

Topic category Environment

Reference date 2021·06·09

Newson, S.E., Boughey, K.L., Robinson, R.A. & Gillings, S. 2021. Designing effective survey and sampling protocols for passive acoustic monitoring as a part of the national bat monitoring. JNCC Report No. 688, JNCC, Peterborough, ISSN 0963-8091.

This report uses bat data provided by the Bat Conservation Trust.

Responsible organisation
Communications, JNCC publisher

Limitations on public access No limitations

Use constraints Available under the Open Government Licence 3.0

Metadata date 2021·07·09

Metadata point of contact
Communications, JNCC

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