Bat monitoring program in foraging sites through passive acoustic surveys.

ChiroHabitats is a platform that serves for monitoring populations of the vast majority of bat species  in their foraging sites, within a wide range of different habitats at different altitudes. This protocol was specifically developed to be used in different habitat types, such as forests, urban, agricultural ecosystems, alpine meadows, etc.

ChiroHabitats was created in 2009. when the first automatic ultrasound detectors appeared in the market. Such detectors enabled continuous recording of bat calls, which opened a new perspective in studies of bat communities. Through this monitoring scheme, we managed to collect the large volume of data that was unimaginable some years ago. Obtained data was sufficient to study changes in population trends across the different habitats and territories over many years and with high confidence.

ChiroHabitats represents remote and multi-species monitoring system because allows/enables data collection for big/considerable number of bat species. At the moment, ultrasound calls can be identified to the species level, or to the level of group of species in cases when unambiguous classification is impossible without the presence of species-specific social calls. As a result of the long-term data collection, we have a dynamic reference bat call library which is constantly being updated, and which contains calls from almost all bat species present in the territory.

After the establishment of ChiroHabitats monitoring scheme, we managed to cover the great part of the territory, and various altitudes from the sea level to high mountains.