Community bat monitoring

A bat monitoring program for community members has been rolled out across the South Australian Murray-Darling Basin (SAMDB) region by Natural Resources SAMDB to build our understanding of biodiversity trends. Bat observations and call recordings by community participants can be entered through an online portal. All data will be shared publicly through the Atlas of Living Australia website.

Who can participate

The bat monitoring program is open to community members interested in bats and recording their observations and collecting call data. The program caters for novices through to experienced bat experts who may already be involved with other bat programs. Acoustic recorders can be borrowed to record bat calls at any suitable location. Someone skilled in analysing bat call sonograms will identify the species calling in the recording and enter the data to the website. Volunteers can also learn how to do the call analysis.

Why get involved

Bat watching is a fun pastime that gets you connected with the environment. Registered participants will have access to all data in the system and the ability to track their own recordings over time. The information that you collect will contribute to a better understanding of bat populations across the SAMDB region.

Results to date

Scientists from the South Australian Museum were awarded a citizen science grant from 2017-2019, funded by the Australian Government under the Inspiring Australia – Science Engagement Programme, that allowed them to partner with the community and collect information on the lives of the microbats of the South Australian Murray-Darling region.

To uncover the secrets of these 'mega important critters', the bat scientists ran the 'MEGA Murray-Darling Microbat Project.' 

Scientists worked with the South Australian Murray-Darling Basin Natural Resources Management Board, the University of South Australia and local Landcare associations, to teach people how to survey for bats using the latest technology.  

This incredibly successful citizen science project provided more microbat species and habitat records in just two summers than had been collected in this region since 1890. Further information can be found in the report links at the bottom of this page.

MEGA Murray-Darling Microbat Project

How can I get involved?

While we aren’t currently running broad scale bat surveys like the MEGA Murray-Darling Microbat Project, if you are keen to undertake a bat survey on your property or would like to set up your own citizen science bat project in another region please contact the Citizen Science Project Officer. 

What if I need help?

If you are inexperienced there will be training opportunities available in how to use the equipment, and even how to analyse the downloaded calls. 

Related links

More information