Bat Chatter: Dropping in on conversations in the trees

The first QLD/NSW LASER talk for 2022, is featuring BatsQLD member Alinta Krauth, who is also a researcher engaging with animal calls, care and climate.

This event will be held online only, on Zoom, 6pm AEST, Thursday May 26th. Register at the link and you will be sent the Zoom details upon registration. https://leonardo.info/civicrm/event/info%3Fid%3D733%26reset%3D1

Machine Listening & Bat Chatter: Dropping in on conversations in the trees
Alinta Krauth

Anyone who has been near a flying fox roost knows that flying foxes have a lot to say to each other. This often gets them into trouble with humans who don’t like to listen to them. Flying foxes are highly social and intelligent animals, as such it follows that they are good at communication. Alinta Krauth has been employing machine listening to drop in on conversations by endangered native Grey-Headed Flying Foxes, in the hopes that we may find more interest, rather than distain, in their voices. She has also taken the liberty of interpreting these vocalisations into human-perceptible concepts, based on known research into communication methods of this important keystone species. Using rigorous vocalisation classification and machine learning models, she has produced a publicly accessible tool for listening to and interpreting this ‘bat chatter’ in real time using the public’s own mobile devices. The question then becomes, how do we interpret what we know about flying fox vocalisations into themes that humans understand? Due to her history as a creative practitioner and writer, Alinta has chosen the approach of visualising bat chatter as disjointed, odd and animated poetry, speculating that if humans could understand flying fox voices, we would no doubt be listening to endless disjointed, yet beautiful, arguments about pups, personal space, and of course, fruit!