176 pages, colour photos, colour illustrations, colour tables
Bats are fascinating mammals about which we still have much to learn. As well as using ultrasonic echolocation calls for orientation and while foraging, they also have a complex array of vocalisations for communication. These are known as social calls and are an essential component of their colonial lifestyle.
Social Calls of the Bats of Britain and Ireland brings together the current state of knowledge of social calls relating to the bat species occurring within Britain and Ireland, with some additional examples from species represented elsewhere in Europe. It includes access to a downloadable library of calls to be used in conjunction with the book.
Downloadable call library
Social calls are complex and intriguing to listen to; they are after all produced with listeners in mind (other bats). To enjoy and fully appreciate social calls the reader must also have the opportunity to become a listener: each of the presented sonograms in Social Calls of the Bats of Britain and Ireland is cross-referenced to downloadable 'time expanded' .wav sound files which are contained within a much wider library of calls for you to explore.
Included in Social Calls of the Bats of Britain and Ireland
The authors start with an overview of the species of bats in Britain and Ireland (Chapter 1), and then introduce us to communication within the social world of bats (Chapter 2). Referencing the latest research, the authors explore how these calls can be classified according to their structure, and in many cases the context in which the calls are thought to be emitted (Chapter 3). Chapter 4 addresses aspects of survey methodology to be considered by those studying social calls. This leads on to the analysis of calls (Chapter 5), detailing the specific methods used and parameters commonly measured by researchers.
The final, and main chapter (Chapter 6) introduces the 23 species covered in the book giving each a detailed profile including: habitat preferences, typical roosting locations, roost emergence times, mating strategies and maternity behaviour. Each species profile includes what is known about the social calls for that species and this text is supported by colour sonograms (created using Pettersson BatSound V4.1) of most of the calls discussed. Each sonogram is linked to a .wav sound file (Time Expansion x10) within the downloadable library. The sound files allow the reader to hear, as well as see, the calls produced using any bat sound analysis software that supports the .wav format.
The authors conclude with a bibliography and an extensive list of references directly cross-referenced throughout Social Calls of the Bats of Britain and Ireland.
"[....] This book is the first attempt to pull together and summarise the current knowledge of social calls of bats occurring within Britain and Ireland. This is a complex area of study, where there is still much to learn. However this book and downloadable call library does a really good job in highlighting the potential for social calls for understanding bats, and for making this information available to all. I know from my own work on bats in Norfolk, I have largely focused on echolocation calls, with another ground-breaking book published by Pelagic Publishing by Jon Russ on British Bat Calls: A Guide to Species Identification being my core reference. This new book on social calls is a perfect companion to this, and one which has already inspired me to look back at the recordings I have been getting this season."
- Stuart Newson, BTO news, September 2014
Foreword by Dr Sandie Sowler
About the Authors
Chapter 1 – An Overview of Bats within Britain and Ireland
Chapter 2 – Introducing Bat Social Calls
Chapter 3 – Classification of Social Calls
Chapter 4 – Considerations in Survey Design
Chapter 5 – Analysis of Social Calls
Chapter 6 – Species Groups
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Neil Middleton, Andrew Froud and Keith French are licensed bat workers operating in the UK. Between them they have accumulated over 40 years' experience relating to bat studies, conservation management, ecological consultancy and training. Bat calls, especially social calls, have fascinated them for many years, and they present this book as a source of reference, with the aim of inspiring others to further research this important behaviour.