Birds can be identified in the wild by the sound of their calls or the colors of their feathers, especially with the help of a smartphone app. But there are other winged animals that are harder to spot in their natural habitat: bats. Because bats are nocturnal and communicate via ultrasonic echolocation, which human ears cannot hear, they’re hard to identify and locate, especially for recreational wildlife enthusiasts.
Enter the Echo Meter Touch 2 from Wildlife Acoustics, which is a small device that plugs into the lightning port of an iPhone or iPad, and picks up the “silent” bat noises. It then pairs with an app that records the sound, identifies the bat species, tags it with GPS coordinates and displays it on Google Maps. The device is available in standard and pro versions, making it accessible for both professional scientists and casual bat lovers.