Bats evolved to fly in the dark and developed echolocation to navigate in these conditions. Even though we cannot hear their calls, we can record and analyse them with appropriate equipment and software.
The author acquired unique knowledge and skills over more than three decades of continuous research on bat ultrasonic calls. In Acoustic Ecology of European Bats he uses here advanced computer-assisted analysis to supplement the auditory approach to ultrasound analysis he initially developed in France.
The method described makes it possible to identify about 85% of bat acoustic records in Europe and to carry out non-invasive bat assessments and in-depth surveys. Thirty-five of the 42 bat species present in Europe are covered.
Acoustic Ecology of European Bats also includes access to more than 300 downloadable files online that can be used to practice and develop skills in identifying bats by their sonar signals. This replaces the DVD-ROM that came with the first edition.
Michel Barataud has spent many years researching bat sonar signals, not only in Europe but also in the Guyanas and Lesser Antilles. Drawing on his personal field experience and his ability to make the most of technological advances, he has developed an efficient identification method and disseminated his findings through a large number of publications. A dedicated teacher, he has trained several hundred bat enthusiasts in ultrasound analysis and fostered a vast network of naturalists.
Yves Tupinier is pioneer in bioacoustics and a life-long friend. His contribution to this book is a precious addition.
"[...] Acoustic Ecology of European Bats contains a wealth of as yet unpublished information indispensable to amateur naturalists and professionals involved in the management of protected areas or in environmental impact studies. This is the most extensive reference on the acoustic identification of European bats. [...]"
– Stuart Newson, BTO book reviews