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Variability in echolocation call design of 26 Swiss bat species: consequences, limits and options for automated field identification with a synergetic pattern recognition approach
Pattern recognition algorithms offer a promising approach to recognizing bat species by their echolocation calls. Automated systems like synergetic classifiers may contribute significantly to operator-independent species identification in the field. However, it necessitates the assembling of an appropriate database of reference calls, a task far from trivial. We present data on species specific flexibility in call parameters of all Swiss bat species (except Nyctalus lasiopterus and Plecotus alpinus). The selection of "training-calls" for the classifier is crucial for species identification success. We discuss this in the context of echolocation call variability differing between species and its consequences for the implementation of an automated, species specific bat activity monitoring system.
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