BOSTON, Oct. 23, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- The most powerful and convenient phone and tablet based bat detectors are coming for Android devices. The Echo Meter Touch 2 and Echo Meter Touch 2 Pro plug-in modules allow users to listen to, record, and identify a wide variety of bats by their ultrasonic echolocation calls. The modules can be pre-ordered beginning the first day of National Bat Week, Tuesday, October 24, 2017, at www.wildlifeacoustics.com.
iPhone versions of the Echo Meter Touch 2 and Echo Meter Touch 2 Pro are available now.
"We had an incredible response to the iOS release this spring and now Android users can also interact with these extraordinary creatures on their devices," said Sherwood Snyder, director of product management at Wildlife Acoustics. "With the addition of Android, now over 3 billion people around the world have an amazingly affordable option to record and ID bats."
Previously, bats could only be heard and identified by using expensive scientific equipment, often costing thousands of dollars. Echo Meter Touch gives outdoor enthusiasts, citizen scientists, and researchers an affordable and informative way to experience the world of bats.
"There is a wide variety of bats and they all echolocate in different ways," commented Sherwood. "Our app analyzes the echolocation calls and suggests the most likely bat species."
The Echo Meter Touch module connects to Android devices via the micro-USB connector. The module's acoustical horn captures the bat's ultrasonic calls and efficiently directs them to a highly sensitive microphone. The calls are then digitized and played back in real-time in audible sounds on the smartphone and displayed in a full-color spectrogram. Simultaneously, the app automatically reveals the most likely species recorded. Each recording is tagged with the species and geolocation and can be shared with other bat enthusiasts or transferred to a computer for additional analysis.
Echo Meter Touch 2 ($179) is designed for budget-minded nature enthusiasts and batting hobbyists. The Echo Meter Touch 2 Pro ($349) is designed for bat professionals and has advanced features including adjustable microphone gain to better detect distant or quiet bats and a selectable sample rate to record bats with very high frequency calls.
Along with its incredible ability to auto record and identify bats, the app also includes beautiful bat images by esteemed bat expert and photographer, Merlin Tuttle, author of The Secret Lives of Bats, My Adventures with the World's Most Misunderstood Mammals. Tuttle also founded Bat Conservation International and currently leads Merlin Tuttle's Bat Conservation.
"Tuttle's images give bats a dignified face," added Snyder. "Seeing those portraits on the screen as bats fly overhead really makes you feel connected to these magnificent animals."
Bats have long been misunderstood and demonized all the while playing a crucial role in our ecosystems by controlling insect populations and pollinating flowers. A 2011 study estimated that bats have an economic impact of about $23 billion a year in reduced crop damage and pesticide use in the United States.
Over the past decade, the populations of several species of bats have been decimated by white-nose syndrome (WNS). The syndrome is named for the white fungus, Pseudogymnoascus destructans, that infects the skin of the muzzle, ears, and wings of hibernating bats. Since the winter of 2008 it has killed untold millions of bats. WNS has been confirmed in five Canadian provinces and 31 U.S. states from Rhode Island to Washington.
"We've seen bat numbers decline by almost 80 percent in the Northeast due to WNS, so every time I hear an affected species on my Echo Meter Touch, I'm encouraged that the bats that managed to survive are beginning to rebuild their populations," added Snyder.
Bat Week is an annual, international celebration of the role of bats in nature. Bat Week is organized by a team of representatives from across the United States and Canada from conservation organizations and government departments. To learn more about Bat Week and how to get involved, visit www.batweek.org.
ABOUT WILDLIFE ACOUSTICS
Wildlife Acoustics, Inc., (www.wildlifeacoustics.com) creates groundbreaking and affordable hardware and software tools for scientists, researchers, and government agencies worldwide who monitor birds, frogs, bats, insects fish, whales, elephants, rhinos and more. Wildlife Acoustics is the leading provider of monitoring systems that use bioacoustics, an emerging field of research that combines biology and acoustic data to gain insights into the natural world.
SOURCE Wildlife Acoustics