Products and Technologies

We offer a number of products and technologies to assist scientific research and enhance conservation efforts. Our expertise in GPS tracking and sound identification have helped us to develop state-of-the-art equipment and software used in a wide variety of research contexts to help answer important ecological questions.

Movetech Telemetry

Movetech brings together expertise from BTO and three academic partners (University of East Anglia, University of Lisbon and InBIO Research Network) to provide cutting-edge tracking devices for scientific research projects. Our Flyway devices provide an extremely powerful and flexible tracking solution that can be used globally. Global Positioning System (GPS) and other sensor data are logged according to user schedules and transmitted via the mobile phone network (GSM) allowing quick and easy access to tracking information. Devices can also operate over several years thanks to highly efficient solar charging solutions that can maintain power even in high latitudes. Dozens of projects on over 20 species, ranging from raptors, storks, gannets, boobies, frigatebirds, bustards and gulls have used our Flyway GPS-GSM devices.

Further information about Movetech technology
Case Study

Gannets on the move

Movetech GPS tracking devices have been employed for multiple years in the Gannet colonies offshore the Channel Island of Alderney and have totally revolutionised our understanding of how these seabirds use the marine environment. One of the main problems with older archival devices was the need to retrieve them from the colony; as many could not be recovered this led to loss of data. The additional disturbance to the birds’ colony and extra costs of retrieval were also undesirable. By using GPS-GSM devices the need for successive retrieval trips is prevented. In many areas, GSM is available in the colony or in areas near to the coast. The project, jointly with the Alderney Wildlife Trust, the University of Liverpool and BTO has demonstrated the impact of existing and proposed offshore wind farms on this internationally-important seabird colony. Tracking has also shown a diversity of foraging strategies that vary between years.

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Contact our team to discuss any bespoke requirements and to learn more about our tracking solutions.

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BTO Acoustic Pipeline

Acoustic Pipeline poster

The BTO Acoustic Pipeline brings cutting-edge sound identification of bats and other nocturnal wildlife to your desktop. It provides the infrastructure to allow audio recordings (wav files) to be uploaded to a secure remote server in the cloud, to be processed to find and identify biological sounds, and to return results back to your computer. The Pipeline has two main parts – a small desktop program that manages the uploading of recordings, and a website where you can review and download results.

By utilising the vocal repertoire of small mammals in Britain, the BTO Acoustic Pipeline provides new possibilities for sound identification to be used as a non-invasive survey method. Britain is home to several species of small mammals, which include rats, mice, voles, dormice and shrews. All of these are difficult to observe in the wild, and it is usually necessary to capture them to confirm their presence. The Pipeline currently focuses on 24 species of European bat, but also identifies 13 small mammal species, 11 bush-cricket species and 2 moth species. We are adding new taxa to the service all the time.

BTO Acoustic Pipeline has considerable potential to help conservation efforts by providing a cost-effective and robust method for detecting the presence of small mammals (such as Hazel Dormice in woodland or Brown Rats on seabird islands), which could be followed up with more intensive survey work if needed. Stuart Newson, BTO Senior Research Ecologist 

BTO Acoustic Pipeline features

  • The analysis carries out data extraction and analysis using full spectrum data processing, which extracts the maximum information possible from recordings to inform species identification.
  • The analysis considers the identification of multiple species where present in a recording, not only the species with the strongest signal, resulting in a greater ability to detect quieter species.
  • It is currently the only system that considers the sound identification of bat social calls, reducing the chance of social calls being mis-identified as the wrong bat species.
  • It is currently the only system that considers the identification of sounds produced by other species groups, which are often mis-identified as bats, including small mammals and bush-crickets. 
  • The analysis provides an independent estimate of error in species identification that is more robust than systems that estimate error based on the reference library used to build the classifier, which may not be representative of the species.
  • The analysis flags identifications which are rare or unexpected for the region (UK county or country) to ensure that the user is particularly cautious with unlikely identifications.
  • The analysis provides an identification for all recordings, regardless of quality, but provides a warning of low confidence for identifications which we suggest should be discarded.
  • Recordings are uploaded and processed off-site, freeing you and your computer up to do other things.
  • It is unique in providing an easy way for users to contribute their bat detections to a central online database for improving our understanding of bats in the UK and beyond.
  • When requested, projects can be set up, and a project administrator assigned to allow and manage multiple users to upload recordings to a project. 
  • Projects can be private and hidden, or public to allow any users to register and take part in a project. This functionality provides support for local atlases and commercial projects. 
  • If wanted, a copy of recordings (wav files) can be saved in the cloud for a defined period and retrieved later, which may be useful for projects where multiple users are uploading recordings remotely to a project.
  • Additional functionality can be provided separately by the BTO for setting up 1-km square sign-up maps for atlas type projects, and for bat detector reservation from hosting centres.
Sign up for a free trial of BTO Acoustic Pipeline

Have a question or proposal to discuss?

Contact our team to discuss any bespoke requirements and to learn more about our sound identification technology.

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