UCL East


Smart detectors to monitor urban bat life

29 June 2017

Nature Smart Cities, which will find its home in the Future Living Institute in UCL East from 2020, has been featured in the news this week. News outlets have highlighted how the activity of urban bats in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park is being monitored by scientists in real-time using new, automated smart detectors that have been developed and installed by UCL and Intel scientists in collaboration with Arup, the Bat Conservation Trust and the London Wildlife Trust.

Bats are a good indicator species, so are often used to measure how healthy our environment is. By detecting bat ultrasonic calls, the monitors will track species present and their activity levels and display the information to the public. This will provide an insight into the wildlife health of the Park over the next year, and help to inform its management.

" We are trialling a network of smart bat monitors that listen to the environment, and figure out if bats are present, all in real time. It’s a ‘Shazam’ for bats! It’s a huge step forward for detection technology - an Internet of Wild Things, and we hope it will help understand how wildlife is being impacted by rapid environmental change. Professor Kate Jones, Project Lead and Chair of Ecology and Biodiversity at UCL

The detectors are the result of a project called Nature Smart Cities, which has brought environmental, statistical, and computing researchers together with technologists to develop this pilot of the world’s first end-to-end open source system for monitoring bats.

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