2017 Bat Echolocation Symposium

Learning To Listen

You’ve missed out on the 2nd International Symposium on Bat Echolocation Research: Tools, Techniques, and Analysis at the Westward Look Wyndham Resort, but you can still access information about this unique, science-based special event.

Check here frequently for proceedings
and other products from this event.


This technical symposium brought together over 100 participants from 13 countries and 28 U.S. States for 5 days and nights of invited presentations, contributed papers, posters, break out working group sessions, and hands-on practical demonstrations on echolocation, bat detector technology and acoustic monitoring research and applications. Click here to view a gallery of photos from the various activates during the Symposium.


Symposium Organizers are: M. Brock Fenton, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario; Brian W. Keeley, associated with the 2002 Bat Echolocation Research Symposium in Austin, Texas; and Janet Debelak Tyburec, Owner, Bat Survey Solutions, LLC, Tucson, Arizona. The organizers worked in partnership with an International Steering Committee including: John Chenger, Bat Conservation and Management, Inc., Carlisle PA; Dr Paul A Faure, McMaster University,Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour, Hamilton, Ontario; Kate Jones, University College, Center for Biodiversity and Environmental Research, London UK; Cindy Moss, Johns Hopkins, Department of Psychological and Brain Science, Baltimore MD; and Martin Obrist, Swiss Federal Research Institute (WSL), Zurich; These people all provided tireless assistance with developing the symposium program, bringing together an international team of invited speakers and attendees, and selflessly donating their time to assist with the success of this event.


Special thanks to our Acoustic Monitoring Handbook editors who in addition to serving on the Symposium Steering Committee have taken on the added task of compiling a “user’s guide” to acoustic monitoring. Our editors are: R. Mark Brigham, University of Regina, Saskatchewan; Erin Fraser, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Grenfell Campus, Newfoundland; Herman Limpens, Zoodiervereninging, The Netherlands; and Alex Silvis, U.S. Geological Survey, Virginia Tech, Christiansburg. The objective of the Handbook is to be a brief but comprehensive summary targeted towards bat-workers with varying levels of experience. They designed the draft contents, organized working groups during the Symposium to invite collaboration from attendees, and are now compiling comments, references, and materials to do the final production and printing. See the links below and at the left to see how you can still participate in this exciting document. And stay tuned for an announcement about the availability of the finished publication.


We sincerely thank our generous Donors and Sponsors who helped make this symposium possible. This includes: The Arizona Game and Fish Department – the department of natural resources for the state of Arizona that has developed many educational and outreach publications about the state’s 28 bat species; Bat Conservation and Management, Inc. – purveyor of research equipment, resources, and services for comprehensive bat inventory and monitoring efforts; Bat Conservation International, Inc. – an international conservation organization, dedicated to protecting the world’s 1,300+ species of bats and their habitats and creating a world in which bats and humans successfully coexist; Bat Survey Solutions, LLC – a leader in training workshops to build skills for conducting a full range of bat acoustic and capture surveys; Dodotronic – a producer of high-frequency USB microphones for recording bat echolocation calls in addition to devices for other zoological and industrial sound recording applications; Pettersson Elektronik – manufacturer of heterodyne, frequency-division, time-expansion, and full-spectrum bat detectors as well as sound analysis software since 1983; Titley Scientific, USA – proudly serving the wildlife community for over 30-years with the popular AnaBat bat detector system, a full range Wildlife Tracking technology, and Camera Traps for monitoring bats and other wildlife; and Wildlife Acoustics, Inc. – a leading provider of acoustic, high-frequency and marine bioacoustics monitoring systems for recording vocalizations of birds, bats, frogs, insects, fish, whales and other terrestrial wildlife. Please visit our sponsor websites by clicking on their respective logos found on this page.


Generously sponsored in part by:










Downloads Available

2nd Symposium on
Bat Echolocation Research

Symposium Venue:
Symposium Sessions and lodging provided at the Westward Look Wyndham Grand Resort and Spa, 245 East Ina Road, Tucson, Arizona 85704. This sprawling 130-acre Resort nestled in lush Sonoran Desert along the foothills of the Santa Catalina Mountains of Tucson is one of the best-kept lodging secrets in the city. A full range of guest accommodations including three on-site swimming pools, tennis courts, workout facility, and a well-appointed spa are tucked in amongst shaded pathways, connecting the hacienda-style guest rooms to a peaceful nature trail, stables, and a restaurant and bar overlooking the entire Tucson valley. And Westward Look was the perfect venue for “out the back door” evening bat-walks and other acoustic monitoring activities. During our week in residence, we documented a dozen species of bats and collected over 13,000 echolocation recordings while conducting active and passive monitoring efforts. Click here for a summary of the species recorded.


Invited Presentations:
Symposium Organizers with assistance from the Steering Committee attracted over 25 Invited Papers from an international cadre of leaders in Bat Echolocation Science and Acoustic Monitoring. Presenters included legends such as Alan Grinnell, Uli Schnitzler, and Jim Simmons as well as up and coming scientists studying hoary bats that choose not to echolocate (Aaron Corcoran), placing ultrasonic microphones (with GPS tags) on mouse-tailed bats to study communal foraging behavior (Yossi Yovel), using microphone arrays to pinpoint echolocating bats in 3D space (Jens Koblitz), and promoting GUANO, a Grand Unified Acoustic Notation Ontology to keep metadata organized (David Riggs). Browse the abstracts printed in the Program and stay tuned for news about presentations available for download (see below).


Contributed Papers and Posters:
Over 35 contributed papers and posters were presented during the Symposium. Authors spoke on topics including equipment and deployment guidelines for long-term passive monitoring, active recording, mobile acoustic transects; theft prevention; innovative field techniques; reducing animal or weather damage to equipment; site selection for species-specific deployments; building and maintaining call libraries; call analysis methods; comparisons of acoustic survey protocols; assessing occupancy using bat detectors; probabilities of detection; determining relative bat activity; confidence levels for auto-classification results; and data collection and management tips. Copies of the abstracts from contributed papers are available in the Program and PDF copies of the Poster Presentations are available for download by clicking on the poster titles below.

2017 Acoustic Symposium Program

Bat Activity and Salamander Size Structure, Nancy Buschhaus, University of Tennessee at Martin.

Mobile Transect Monitoring for Bats in The Netherlands, Herman Limpens, Zoogdiervereniging, Netherlands,

Proposed NABat Protocol for Urban Area Monitoring, Sara Schimpp, University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

On-board Recording Tags for Free-flying Bats, Laura Stidsholt, Aarhus University, Denmark.

More Reference Recordings Decrease Classification Performance for Disambiguating Myotis lucifugus from M. sodalis. Joe Szewczak, et al., Humbolt State University, Arcata, California.

Improving Bat Survey Efficiency by Combining Acoustic and Capture Efforts, Janet Debelak Tyburec, Bat Survey Solutions, LLC, Tucson.


Acoustic Monitoring Handbook:
One of the most significant outcomes of this symposium is a Handbook summarizing the current knowledge about acoustic monitoring for bats. This publication is edited by: R. Mark Brigham, University of Regina, Saskatchewan; Erin Fraser, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Grenfell Campus, Newfoundland; Herman Limpens, Zoodiervereninging, The Netherlands; and Alex Silvis, U.S. Geological Survey, Virginia Tech, Christiansburg. Contributors include Symposium attendees, Invited speakers, and leading echolocation scientists. These collaborators have designed a comprehensive outline for contents that includes chapters on Acoustic Survey Design, Bat Detector Types and Choices, Echolocation Call Identification, and Data Processing and Analysis tips. In addition, contributors have provided acoustic monitoring Case Studies to be considered for inclusion in the Handbook as examples to guide bat-workers new to echolocation monitoring efforts. See the “Handbook Outline” and also the "Request For Case Studies" documents to see how you can still participate. And, watch this space for information about downloading and electronic copy or purchasing a hard copy of the finished publication.


Published Proceedings 2017:
The Symposium Proceedings will be published by the Canadian Journal of Zoology in late 2017 or early 2018. These proceedings will include the peer-reviewed, published papers resulting from all Invited Presentations as well as select summaries and outcomes from the Symposium. Watch this space for details on how to obtain a copy.


Published Proceedings 2002: In 2002, Bat Conservation International hosted the Bat Echolocation Research Symposium: Tools, Techniques, and Analysis, which introduced the then rapidly evolving science of bat detector use and acoustic surveys. The 2002 Proceedings include 25 peer-reviewed papers on topics ranging from bat detector capabilities and limitations, basic concepts on ultrasonic detection, bat identification based on echolocation call analysis, and research studies using bat detectors. This historic document is a must-read to provide essential background in echolocation study and “learning to listen” to bats in the dark. A PDF copy of the 2002 Proceedings is available here.


Audio/Video Presentation Downloads: Video presentations of select Invited Presentations and Contributed Papers will be made available for purchase. Watch this space for details on how to stream and/or download the symposium content.

Quick Links to Select Symposium Content and Downloads . . .


Gallery of Symposium Photos

Over 25 Invited Presentations, more than 35 30 Contributed Papers and Posters, a dozen Evening Break-out Sessions, including Handbook Working Groups, EchoMeter Touch Bat Walk, Wildlife Acoustic Detector Hands-on Tutorial, Manual Vetting Geek Session, SonoBat Live and AnaBat WalkAbout Treks, Field Trips to local Bat Monitoring sites, and Sponsored Breaks, Socials, and Networking opportunities galore.

Browse this Gallery of Photos below to see what you missed!


Symposium Program: Learning To Listen

A 44-page, full-color Symposium Program includes the entire schedule, abstracts from contributed papers and posters, information about the Host Hotel, local Tucson Resources, and a list of attendees and sponsors.

Click here for the PDF download.

(Please send any corrections, edits, or comments on the program contents to J.D.Tyburec.)


Contributed Posters

View a draft of the Handbook Table of Contents here.

Download a Submission Form to share an Echolocation Monitoring / Acoustic Survey Case Study for consideration to be Included in the Publication here. Case Studies must be submitted by 19 May 2017 to be considered for inclusion in the Handbook.

Contact our editors with questions and comments about this project. And watch this space to learn how you can obtain your own copy of the finished publication.