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Acoustic surveillance network of bats in Québec

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Hoary bat (Lasiurus cinereus).
Photo: Biodôme de Montréal (M.B. Fenton)

In Québec, very little data exists about the distribution and status of bat populations, and little is known about their habitat. In order to obtain knowledge about Québec’s bats, a preliminary project began in three regions of Québec in 2000 to create a network of acoustic inventories of bats.

Since then, the network has expanded, and in 2011, 15 regions of Québec took part. The network was created with the help of many volunteers taking an acoustic inventory in their region. Bat calls are recorded with a echolocation device connected to a cassette recorder. Sound analysis software is used to visualize each bat call and identify its species. By analyzing the bat calls and recording the data collected, the distribution and abundances of different bat species can be documented, as well as annual variations of bat populations in different regions. The compilation of this data can be used to make recommendations about the conservation of species and their habitats. 

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