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The simple definition of echolocation is to determine the makeup of ones
surroundings by measuring the time it takes for an echo to bounce off of
and return from them. There are other definitions that include
communication purposes, etc. There are quite a few animals that
echolocate including some bats, dolphins, flying squirrels, swifts,
shrews, and whales.
You might wonder why we care about echolocation in bats?
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• Bats are an important part of the eco-system.
• They can eat up to half their body weight in insects each night.
• Different species of bats emit different echolocation calls.
• These data can provide a non-invasive way of identifying bats.
• Understanding the ecology of bats is crucial to protecting them.
• According to the USFWS, of the 45 species of bats in the lower
48, six are currently federally endangered as well as many others
throughout U.S. territories.
They include the following:
•Gray bat (Myotis grisescens)
•Indiana bat (Myotis sodalis)
•Ozark big-eared bat (Corynorhinus townsendii ingens)
•Virginia big-eared bat (Corynorhinus townsendii virginianus)
•Lesser long-nosed (Leptonycteris curasoae yerbabuenae)
•Mexican long-nosed bat (Leptonycteris nivalis)
•Hawaiian hoary bat (Lasiurus cinereus semotus)
•Little Mariana fruit bat (Pteropus tokudae)
•Mariana fruit bat (Pteropus mariannus mariannus)
Urban Developement, Clear Cutting, Cave Disturbance,
Syndrome, and Wind Energy potentially
pose a potential risk to bats.
Example Bat Calls
The following are examples of echolocation calls from several North
American Species. Keep in mind that bat calls are highly variable and
this is just one example:
Example of a Big Brown Call
Example of an Evening Bat Call
Example of a Gray Bat Call
Example of a Hoary Bat Call
Example of a Tri-Colored Bat Call
Example of a Silver Haired Bat Call
Example of a Northern Long-Eared Bat Call
Example of an Indiana Bat Call
Example of a Little Brown Bat Call
Example of a Red Bat Call