The iNaturalist app and website allows anyone to add biological records to a vast database. By its nature, this is an unstructured survey, and the random nature of observers and their locations means this data cannot be used to quantify species abundance or to indicate their absence.
However, the iNaturalist records can be used to indicate the presence of a species.
To verify bat records, after the recording night, you can upload an observation that includes at least the original .wav recording of the bat echolocation, and preferably images of the spectrogram of that call.
What Bat flight Records to upload?
Decide what to upload by reviewing the recordings you have made, to select the best ones. Select .wav files of bat flight records that are:
- A clear distinct recording of the echolocation call
- Not too noisy, and doesn’t have anything inappropriate recorded!
- Only one species. Bat2iNat works best if one species of bat is present in the recording.
- Not duplicates. As we are just trying to indicate species presence, no need to upload more than one or two calls per species from an area.
- Complete metadata; including GPS location, and correct species in the filename
- Open flight records, not records that could be used to identify or locate a bat roost
How often should we upload records to iNaturalist?
iNaturalist relies on the community for verification of records, hence it is important not to annoy people by uploading too many similar records.
As a guide for each survey location, we suggest only uploading one or two flight records for each species, every quarter, i.e once in spring, summer and autumn.
What about records of Bat Roosts?
To protect the location of bat roosts we suggest not uploading recordings from outside (or inside) Bat roosts.
Any such records can be uploaded to alternate databases:
- Summer roost emergence counts : To BCT’s National Bat Monitoring Program (NBMP) roost emergence count
- Winter roost hibernation checks: To BCT’s National Bat Monitoring Program (NBMP) hibernation survey
- Both above can be reported to Somerset Environmental Records Centre directly.