Using echolocation calls to identify Thai bat species: Vespertilionidae, Emballonuridae, Nycteridae and Megadermatidae

A Hughes, A Satasook, PJJ Bates, P Soisook, T Sritongchuay, G Jones, S Bumrungsri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Variation in the acoustic structure of bat echolocation calls can often provide sufficient information for reliable and efficient species identification. The aim of this study was to investigate the use of echolocation call structure to identify a number of bats in the families Vespertilionidae, Emballonuridae, Nycteridae and Megadermatidae from Thailand. These species typically emit echolocation calls with a frequency-modulated (FM) sweep dominating part or all of their calls. This paper compliments another study on the acoustic identification of bats in Thailand that emit constant-frequency components in their calls (families Hipposideridae and Rhinolophidae) (Hughes et al., 2010). 510 echolocation calls from free-flying individuals were recorded throughout Thailand. According to the frequency-time spectra, these calls were categorized into four types: broadband FM (8 species), narrowband FM (7 species), long multiharmonic (4 species) and short multiharmonic (3 species). Discriminant function analysis was used to classify calls from individual bats to species. Correct classification levels were 85.9% for individuals emitting broadband FM calls (6 species with adequate sample sizes), 70.4 % for narrowband FM bats (7 species), 84.4% for species emitting long multiharmonic calls (4 species) and 96.7% for species emitting short multiharmonic calls (2 species with adequate sample sizes). However, classification rates were often low at the species level. Acoustic identification of bats emitting FM calls should be approached with caution in species-rich communities, in contrast with the identification of rhinolophoid bats where many species use distinctive constant frequencies that can facilitate identification. and provides a basis for rapid acoustic surveys of large areas in Thailand, and potentially other parts of Southeast Asia.
Translated title of the contributionUsing echolocation calls to identify Thai bat species: Vespertilionidae, Emballonuridae, Nycteridae and Megadermatidae
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)447 - 456
Number of pages10
JournalActa Chiropterologica
Volume13(2)
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2011

Bibliographical note

Publisher: Museum and Institute of Zoology, Polish Academy of Sciences

Title of Publication Reviewed: Using echolocation calls to identify Thai bat species: Vespertilionidae, Emballonuridae, Nycteridae and Megadermatidae
Author of Publication Reviewed: ALICE C. HUGHES , CHUTAMAS SATASOOK, PAUL J.J. BATES, PIPAT SOISOOK, TUANJIT SRITONGCHUAY , GARETH JONES and SARA BUMRUNGSRI

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