Automated Acoustic Bat ID Software Programs

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bat spectogram

Approved Programs

Evaluation of software for use in Indiana bat (Myotis sodalis; MYSO) and northern long-eared bat (Myotis septentrionalis; MYSE) presence/probable absence (p/a) acoustic surveys is a collaborative effort between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service/USFWS) and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Virginia Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit (VCFWRU). Performance criteria needed to achieve software approval are set by the Service, with input from experienced bat ecologists, statisticians, and regulatory specialists. For software to be reviewed and tested, developers must submit their program along with an official submittal form (available on the Service’s Automated Acoustic Bat ID Software Program webpage)1 to the Service. Developers may submit software to the Service to be tested at any time and at no cost. All submissions and inquiries regarding software testing must be directly made to the Service. Once submitted to the Service, the submittal form will be reviewed, and if complete, the software package and submittal form will be forwarded to the VCFWRU for official testing. Test results from the VCFWRU are reviewed by the Service and provided to the software developers with determination of acceptability. In the interest of improving software performance, the Service, with VCFWRU, will discuss results with software developers. However, the Service asks that software developers not use the review process as a beta-testing platform.

Testing Procedures, Performance Criteria and Approval Process for Automated Acoustic Bat ID Software Programs

Approved bat acoustic software

1 1 Wildlife Acoustics routinely issues new updated versions of Kaleidoscope Pro (KPro) to address various user interface and compatibility issues that have no impact on the underlying algorithms or databases used in their program’s species classification. Going forward, the USFWS will continue to formally test new versions of KPro that include any changes to the underlying classifier that could change the species identification outcomes. For these reasons, we will automatically approve new versions of KPro provided that they use the same classifier from the most recently tested and approved version. In other words, we are approving and pre-approving all KPro versions issued subsequent to version 5.4.7 that use the 5.4.0 Bats of North America classifier. We will continue to test any future versions that include changes to filters, conversion processes, algorithms or databases associated with classifications (or any other software changes that could impact analysis results). This table will be updated as new test results become available.
2 When provided as an option, users are to select the most appropriate species assemblage/geographic region, which includes MYSO and/or MYSE, and/or TCB and all other species that may reasonably occur in a given survey area/region. Unless otherwise indicated in the table above, KPro users should use the "-1" sensitivity setting for newer versions of KPro (subsequent to v. 5.4.7) that use the 5.4.0 Bats of N.A. classifier.

3ZC= Zero-cross, FS= Full-spectrum

Candidate Programs

The candidate programs below have not yet been tested/re-tested by USGS and therefore are not yet approved by USFWS for stand-alone use for MYSO and/or MYSE P/A surveys. In the interim, one or more of the candidate programs below may be used in conjunction with one or more of the “approved” programs for MYSO/MYSE P/A surveys.

EchoClass (Eric Britzke, ERDC)

The Service funded Dr. Eric Britzke with the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center in Vicksburg, Mississippi to develop an automated acoustic bat identification software program suitable throughout the range of the Indiana bat. Version 3.1 is publicly available for use (free of charge) and may be downloaded from these links.

SonoBat™ (Joe Szewczak)

Sonobat ( software “provides a comprehensive tool for analyzing and comparing high-resolution full-spectrum Sonograms of Bat echolocation calls recorded from time-expansion bat detectors. With its intuitive and direct interface, SonoBat makes it easy to record, process, display, and analyze calls with great sophistication.” 

Software Developers

Software developers wishing to have their program/new versions evaluated by the Service should complete this submittal form and send it to Andrew King ( in the Indiana ES Field Office.

How to Contribute Additional Call Files to the Master Test Library

In the interest of improving the overall number and diversity of call files included in the Master Test Library, the Service encourages qualified individuals to voluntarily contribute additional call files (full-spectrum and zero-crossing) of known species. Call files will be considered for inclusion if species identity is unequivocally known. Example methods of generating unequivocal identifications include recordings of hand release and/or light tagged bats. Passively collected and manually identified calls may be considered on a case-by-case basis pending discussion with the Service, but in general are not a preferred source of calls to be used in testing. Files used by developers to train software programs should not be submitted for inclusion in the Master Test Library. To permit future development of software testing (e.g. regional test libraries), contributors are requested to included relevant metadata along with their file submissions using the call submittal form here

If you are interested in contributing known call files to the Master Test Library, please contact Mike Armstrong ( or Andy King (

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