The Bat Signal (Surveys!) Aboard the Emma McCall

June 16, 2023

This spring our team started collecting data on the movement of migratory bats in the offshore environment. Our team established two bat detectors aboard the survey vessel Emma McCall which collects geophysical and geotechnical data as part of Attentive Energy’s Year 2 Survey Program.

The data collected from these acoustic monitors will help us better understand the presence, distribution, and species diversity of bat species in the offshore environment. 

Bats use echolocation to communicate and orient themselves in their environment. Echolocation, also referred to as a ‘call’, differs between bat species. Attentive Energy is using two bat detectors, called Song Meter Mini Bat units manufactured by Wildlife Acoustics, Inc, to capture bat calls. These detectors record acoustic data, which will be processed and classified by trained acoustic technicians using the most recent approved software to determine if bat calls are present. Calls are examined for quality and species-specific characteristics (i.e., maximum and minimum frequency, duration, multiple pulses withing a call, and call shape). Additionally, the data will be correlated to their geographic location and daily weather reports from the nearest weather station (including temperature, wind speed, and wind direction). This installation of bat detectors and monitoring of bat migration is a proactive voluntary measure Attentive Energy initiated to learn more about the presence of bats offshore. The data are being collected within the Attentive Energy Lease Area as well as during the transit of the vessel and is intended to support development of the required Construction of Operations Plan (COP) Attentive Energy must submit to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) as part of the federal permitting process. These data will also be available to support ongoing research initiatives.