Wildlife Acoustics Bloggers

Nicole Wright

Customer Spotlight: Echo Meter Touch bicycle transects

Customer Spotlight: Echo Meter Touch bicycle transects

Can the Echo Meter Touch be used for bicycle transects?

For our resourceful customer Peder Halverson, the answer is yes.

Wondering know how he did it? Peder shared the details with us:

"It’s simply a camera monopod fastened to the bike’s front wheel frame, a wooden platform fastened to that, a cardboard iPad mini case box glued to that, the iPad mini in the carboard secured by a Velcro band. The module’s microphone is covered by a windscreen salvaged from a Zoom H2 recorder that was once used to record bat calls from a Petterson unit. The monopod pole can telescope up farther, but I like it this way for better visibility of the road ahead. The iPad can rotate on the monopod either this way, giving better visibility ahead, or it can rotate so that the screen is always visible to the rider. It likes to ride this way, slowly rotating to this orientation.

This method is being compared with the method in which the iPad is slipped into the rope pocket on the back of a backpack. So far the two methods seem to give equally good spectrograms, even though one might imagine the pole method to give less audio reflections. The backpack method allows the iPad’s cover to remain open, so that the screen is visible to automobiles to the rear, acting as a great additional reflector. It also feels a lot more secure for the iPad and module.

What to know about the Wildlife Acoustics Scientific Product Grant Program

What to know about the Wildlife Acoustics Scientific Product Grant Program

We recently announced the Wildlife Acoustics Scientific Grant Program. We’ve gotten several requests for such a program from our customers and we are very happy to bring it to fruition. In line with our mission to advance the conservation of animals through bioacoustics recording technology, we will be awarding up to $5,000 every calendar quarter of product-in-kind grants to biologists, researchers, conservationists or students who work for tax exempt, non-profit organizations.

We realize you may have a number of questions about the program regarding eligibility, products available, the application process, and more. While most of the information you need is available here, we’ll address some major questions below.

Who is eligible to apply?

Anyone associated with a tax-exempt, non-profit organization (students, teachers, professional researchers, etc) is eligible for our grant program.

How should I save, in .wac or in .wav?

How should I save, in .wac or in .wav?

If you have used our ultrasonic Song Meters before, you may be familiar with two different options for saving our recordings, triggered .wav, and our proprietary compressed format, .wac. While we recommend triggered .wav format in almost all cases, there are a few instances where it may benefit you to use .wac format instead.

  • First, we recommend our ultrasonic users record to triggered .wav format for several reasons:
    Triggered .wav format comes with noise scrubbing capability, which allows for more accurate triggers. This means you won’t be wasting card space with recordings that have been falsely triggered by non-animal noises, such as rain. Though .wac files takes up less space than .wav, this could actually offset the amount of space that would have been saved recording in a compressed format if you are in an area prone to ultrasonic noise.
  • Wav is 30% more energy efficient than .wac and can be used directly for ZC analysis
  • If you are using a Song Meter SM3, you will have automatically embedded metadata in your .wav files.

So when is it preferable to use .wac?

If you are interested in GPS tracking, you may find it more valuable to record to the .wac format. .Wac recordings take GPS information every second, allowing for continuous tracking data. While some GPS data is available with .wav, you will have fewer data points than in .wac.

Another advantage of .wac is independent triggering. If you are recording different species on different channels, you may want only one channel to trigger at once. For example, you may want to record birds on one channel, and bats on another. You wouldn’t want bats to trigger recording on both channels if there won’t be another birds to record for several hours. In situations such as these, the .wac format will be much more space saving than .wav.

Wildlife Acoustics is proud to support wildlife conservation efforts

Merlin Tuttle's Bat Conservation Bat Conservation International Bat Conservation Trust Wildlife Habitat Counsil