Wildlife Acoustics Blog

Explaining Maximum Likelihood Estimators (MLE) and P-values used in Kaleidoscope

The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Indiana Bat Summer Survey Guidance describes the use of approved software programs. As part of their software testing criteria:

As species identifications are never perfect, all analysis programs must utilize a maximum-likelihood estimator approach to determine species presence at the site rather than relying on a single sequence. Post-hoc maximum-likelihood estimator p-values will be used to determine acceptance thresholds for final identification determination. The maximum-likelihood estimator used by Kaleidoscope Pro is based on a 2002 paper by Britzke, Murray, Heywood, and Robbins "Acoustic Identification".

The method described takes two inputs. First, there are the classification results e.g. How many detections of each bat did the classifier find? Second, there is the confusion matrix representing the known error rates across all the classifiers. For example, 70% of MYLU calls are correctly classified as MYLU while 3% of MYLU calls are misclassified as MYSO, etc. The maximum likelihood estimator determines what the most likely distribution of different species are that would result in the observed classifications given the classifier error rate. Then, to calculate P-values, a given species is clamped as absent and the most likely distribution is recalculated. The ratio of the clamped likelihood divided by the original likelihood is the P-value.

Reminders for the Nov 15th Grant Deadline

With our second Scientific Product Grant deadline fast approaching, we’d like to remind applicants of some important guidelines to ensure that your application goes as far through the process as possible.

If you are applying by the Nov 15th, 2015 deadline, please keep in mind:

  • You will need to complete an updated application form, found here. The previous form used in the last application cycle is no longer valid.
  • The SM4 and SM4BAT are not available in this grant cycle as the grant will be awarded by the end of December.
  • Please ensure that you have included the documentation requested and have read the instructions carefully.

After determining if the applications fit our requirements and have provided the requested information, we will look for the best projects that make significant use of bioacoustics, advance scientific knowledge, and contribute to long-term conservation.

Bat Week 2015 takes on a Guinness World Record Attempt and Capitol Hill!

Bat Week 2015 takes on a Guinness World Record Attempt and Capitol Hill!

What is Bat Week?

Bat Week (October 25-31) is an annual awareness campaign for bats. This year it includes a Signature Event on Capitol Hill, a social media campaign aimed to educate the public on bats, and a Guinness World Record attempt for Most Bat Houses Built in a Day. The record setting attempt will aptly be held on Halloween at multiple locations, including Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge.

More about the Signature Event:

On October 27, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) will be the featured guest along with other members of Congress and their staff, leading White-nose syndrome federal experts and policy makers at a reception on Capitol Hill to kick off the week long celebration. The evening includes bat house building, educational displays from partner organizations and bat-supported food and beverages. Wildlife Acoustics will also be there demonstrating the Echo Meter Touch as an example of how the latest technology can help us study bats!

About the Halloween Guinness World Record Attempt:

Halloween day (October 31st) will mark a Guinness World Record attempt for Most Bat Houses Built in a Day. Throughout the day, participants of all ages at designated sites around the globe will attempt to build thousands of bat houses to give bats new places to roost and raise their young. Want to participate? Find a nearby site at www.batweek.org.

Wildlife Acoustics is proud to support wildlife conservation efforts

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