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British Wildlife is the leading natural history magazine in the UK, providing essential reading for both enthusiast and professional naturalists and wildlife conservationists. Published eight times a year, British Wildlife bridges the gap between popular writing and scientific literature through a combination of long-form articles, regular columns and reports, book reviews and letters.

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Conservation Land Management (CLM) is a quarterly magazine that is widely regarded as essential reading for all who are involved in land management for nature conservation, across the British Isles. CLM includes long-form articles, events listings, publication reviews, new product information and updates, reports of conferences and letters.

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In The Field: Batbox Baton Bat Detector

Antonia Peacock
Antonia Peacock

The Batbox Baton is an economical and user-friendly bat detector ideal for newcomers to bat detecting and bat detecting enthusiasts alike. The Baton is perhaps one of the most simple and easy-to-use bat detectors on the market, so simple that it can be operated with a single button. With simplicity often comes sacrifice, but not in the case of the Baton. This device uses technology called frequency division which enables the user to monitor all ultrasonic frequencies between 20kHz and 120kHz at once by dividing the frequency by a factor of 10. If a bat calls at 50kHz, for example, a 5kHz form will be played through the speakers. This means no tuning is required and the user is not at risk of missing any bats by being tuned to the wrong frequency.

We took out a Batbox Baton to a rural lake in Hampshire at dusk on a dry August evening. The detector comes preloaded with a battery, and with a flick of the single On/Off button we were listening to bat calls in a matter of seconds. The detector is extremely lightweight, ergonomic and compact, making it easy to carry into the field. The calls of (what we believe were) Soprano Pipistrelles were divided down to an audible frequency and we could hear multiple individuals calling and hunting above us. It is worth noting that species identification can be more difficult without a frequency display screen, especially if the user has less experience in hearing calls in frequency division or if they are unable to compare with other bat calls. We found the Baton a very useful tool for listening to bats for pleasure and the lack of a screen or tuning dials means you can focus your eyes above and watch the bats as they fly and hunt. 

Should the user wish to get a bit more out of their bat detecting experience, however, the Baton does provide options. The Baton has a ‘Line Out’ socket, and when connected to a laptop with a soundcard via a stereo lead, and used in conjunction with the free BatScan analysis software compatible with Windows only, real-time sonograms can be viewed in the field allowing detailed analysis and species identification. 

The Baton’s Line Out socket can also be used with a digital audio recorder, such as a H1n Handy Recorder, and calls can be recorded for future analysis using the same BatScan software. It should be noted that if the user wishes to listen to calls through headphones, this cannot be done through the detector itself but only via the audio recorder. The use of a recorder and further analysis with BatScan software allows the user to gain a detailed understanding of call structure and species identification, and further their enjoyment of bat detecting. 

Whether you have been enjoying bat detecting for years, or you are just looking to start out, the Batbox Baton will have something for you. It is an economic and versatile option that we would not hesitate to recommend.

The Batbox Baton Bat Detector can be found here. Our full range of bat detectors can be found here.

If you have any questions about our range or would like some advice on the right product for you then please contact us via email at or phone on 01803 865913.