A guide to processing bat acoustic data for the North American Bat Monitoring Program (NABat)
The North American Bat Monitoring Program (NABat) is a multi-national, multiagency coordinated monitoring program designed to assess the status and trends of North American bats at local, state, and range-wide scales. NABat monitoring efforts focus on the 47 species of bats shared by Canada, the United States, and Mexico. NABat is composed of a network of partners including local, State, Federal, and provincial agencies, Tribes, non-governmental organizations, and volunteers collecting bat survey data and invested in bat conservation. Information from NABat can be used to inform land management and conservation decisionmaking. The success of NABat is predicated on making reliable inferences about bat distributions and their relative abundance from data collected and processed using standardized techniques and protocols in a consistent manner over space and time. In 2015, “A Plan for the North American Bat Monitoring Program (NABat)” (Loeb and others, 2015) was developed, providing the foun- dation and overall direction needed for the initial implementation of NABat. Loeb and others (2015) represented the first step towards the establishment of standardized protocols, with the understanding that guidance would be refined and more specific protocols would be made available over time.