The Indicator Bats Programme (iBats), a partnership project between ZSL and the Bat Conservation Trust (BCT), aims to develop national bat monitoring programmes across the globe in order to generate long-term data on biodiversity indicator species to assess the impact of national development and global change.
Since its inception in 2006, the project has been a huge success, and subsequent funding from the Darwin Initiative has enabled the work to be expanded from Romania and Bulgaria into Ukraine, Russia and Hungary.
The 1st International Indicator Bats Global Monitoring Workshop was held in Savadisla, Tordaszentlaszlo, Romania, from 15-18 May 2009. During the following field season, volunteers collected data from 192 driven transects throughout the region covering 20,740 kilometres and involving over 220 local volunteers.
NERC-funded researchers have begun studying species-habitat associations using the data generated by the iBats survey within Eastern Europe. With funding from the Leverhulme Trust, Screenshots from the iBats iPhone application researchers are also developing an application for the iPhone to simplify the existing equipment in collaboration with Birkbeck College, University of London. Other project components include developing the ability to automatically extract and identify calls from long recording sequences and a major overhaul of the iBats web portal .