Who’s calling? Acoustic identification of Brazilian bats

Abstract

Brazil is a megadiverse country with more than 180 bat species. However, most inventories have been mostly made using mist-net sampling and roost search and due to the lack of bioacoustics studies, the bat fauna is certainly subrepresented and biased. The knowledge on distribution and ecology of Brazilian bats is mainly within the Phyllostomidae. Reliable data on bat echolocation calls is the key to improve the knowledge on the distribution patterns and foraging ecology of the remaining eight bat families present in the country. Our work aims to (i) integrate information on echolocation calls of non-phyllostomids occurring in Brazil; (ii) detect regional changes in the acoustic profile of those species; (iii) identify gaps in knowledge both in terms of species and regions sampled; and (iv) to point out which species are acoustically recognizable in a reliable way. Finally, we present a key to supporting the acoustic identification of non-phyllostomids in Brazil. We compiled publications on echolocation calls of Neotropical bat species occurring in Brazil and summarized qualitative and quantitative information of acoustic parameters used in call descriptions. We considered 93 non-phyllostomid bat species to occur in Brazil of which 65 have been acoustically described but for 28 we found no published information. Information on echolocation calls was retrieved from 47 publications and acquired in 17 countries. The use of bioacoustics can be a fundamental tool to expand the knowledge on Brazilian bats and improve their conservation.

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Acknowledgments

The authors thank Eder Barbier who kindly sent personal recordings and information of H. diaphanopterus and Ítalo K. Rakowski who helped with the digitalization of data. A. Arias-Aguilar and F. Hintze were supported by Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nivel Superior (CAPES) with MS and Ph.D. grants, respectively. E. Bernard was supported with a National Counsel of Technological and Scientific Development (CNPq) productivity grant.

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Arias-Aguilar, A., Hintze, F., Aguiar, L.M.S. et al. Who’s calling? Acoustic identification of Brazilian bats. Mamm Res 63, 231–253 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13364-018-0367-z

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Keywords

  • Bat bioacoustics
  • Chiroptera
  • Echolocation calls
  • Insectivorous bats
  • Neotropical bats