Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
Can I put a detector in my garden?
We offer advice on positioning your detector in our quick start guide. This survey aims to understand how bats are using the wider environment - their foraging sites, what habitats they use etc. We hope to avoid biasing our sample towards particular habitats e.g. gardens. The best place to position a detector is in a habitat typical of the square you have chosen. For example, if you live in town/suburban area - your garden might be the ideal place. If your square is predominantly farmland, then your detector should ideally positioned within this habitat. Please note, we would rather you participate than not all. The points made here are merely suggestions rather than restrictions.
When booking a detector, what is the difference between the detectors listed as 1, 2 & 3 etc. in the drop down?
They are all the same. There are 2, 3 or 4 detectors at each centre, and you can book any one that is available. All the detectors are numbered with unique numbers so if you book detector number 3 from a bat centre and get number 8, do not worry! We will be moving detectors around bat centres as and when they need maintenance.
I’m having issues with booking a 1km-square.
If you’re unable to book a 1km-square using the online sign up map, please contact our Project Officer at firstname.lastname@example.org telling us which square(s) you would like to survey.
I’m not sure whether I have successfully booked a 1km-square.
Once you have booked a 1km-square you should receive a confirmation email. Please check your email inbox, junk and deleted, if you still can’t find it, send us an email and we can help.
I would like to take part in the survey, but my nearest Detector Hosting Centre is quite far away.
We have aimed to spread our Detector Hosting Centres across North Somerset as much a possible, however we are limited in the number of suitable locations we can use. Please feel free to contact us if you are aware of any locations you think may be interested in becoming a Detector Hosting Centre.
I have forgotten the contact details for my Detector Hosting Centre.
All of the details for your Detector Hosting Centre can be found in the confirmation email or visit our Detector Hosting Centre page for a list of all our locations and their details.
I am unable to find the landowner of the location where I want to survey.
If you are having trouble finding the landowner, please try the suggestions provided on the Landowner Permission Slip. If you still can’t find the landowner, consider using a different location within your 1km-square, it does not matter if it is not situated right in the centre of the plot. Otherwise, please contact us and we can help you select a new 1km-square.
I am unable to gain permission from the landowner to access private land for the survey.
Please consider using a different location within your 1km-square or contact us and we can help you select a new plot.
Can I deploy my detector/record during bad weather?
Bat activity is very weather dependent, meaning in really cold, windy or rainy conditions, you will be unlikely to record many bats. Please only survey when the predicted weather conditions are suitable, you can check the nightly weather in your area on the Met Office Find a forecast webpage. If the weather forecast changes and the conditions become unsuitable, please wait before deploying your detector. If have been unable to survey due to poor weather conditions you may want to book additional timeslots on our website to complete the six survey nights.
Do I need to return to my detector each night?
No. If you start with fully charged batteries, they should power the detector for the entire six-night recording period. You’ll only need to make two trips: one to set up the detector, and another to retrieve it after the last night. However, a quick check-in after three nights could be helpful to ensure the batteries are still going strong for the rest of the survey. Spare batteries are provided in your kit.
Can I move my detector on different nights to different spots within my 1 km-square?
Ideally, we ask that you keep the detector in the same location each night. However, if for some reason this is not possible and you need to move it, you must update the survey location.
My equipment has gotten wet.
These detectors are designed to be outside, so a bit of rain won’t be an issue. Please just make sure that you wipe down the equipment before putting it back in the box to prevent condensation damaging the inside of the equipment. If you think that the equipment is damaged, please contact us as soon as possible.
Can I find out the results of my survey?
Once the recordings have been processed, you will be emailed to let you know that processing has completed, and the results will be accessible via the link in the email or, via the web portal https://app.bto.org/acoustic-pipeline/data-home/data-home.jsp and click ‘My Uploads’ from the top menu.
The Classifier results can be downloaded as a csv file by clicking on ‘Download’ under Classifier Results. The csv includes all results (one line for each wav file and species identified – so there may be more than one line for a wav file if multiple species are present in a recording), regardless of the confidence associated with the identification.
IMPORTANT: the classifier is not perfect. Further manual verification of recordings and results will be carried out at the end of the season before the data is used. If you have recordings which have been identified by the classifier as a ‘rare’ species and you would like us to manually check this for you, please send us a copy of the recordings via email.
Question not answered yet?
If you still have questions about the project, please email email@example.com or visit our Resources webpage to download a range of helpful documents.
Additional support for the BTO Acoustic Pipeline can be found here: Support Hub | BTO - British Trust for Ornithology
Additional support for the Song Meter Mini Bat can be found here: Frequently Asked Questions | Wildlife Acoustics