Bats have regional accents

2010-09-13 17:11
Sydney - It's not just people who have different accents but bats as well develop dialects depending on where they live which can help identify and protect different species, according to Australian scientists.

Researcher Brad Law of the Forest Science Centre found that bats living in the forests along the east coast of the state of New South Wales had different calls.

He said scientists had long suspected bats had distinctive regional calls - as studies have shown with some other animals - but this was the first time it had been proven in the field.

Law said the different calls of about 30 bat species were used to develop a system so that scientists could identify the various bats along the coast, assess their numbers, and protect them.

'Essential development'


"We need to improve our ability to reliably distinguish between species that have commonly shared call features and we must increase the speed of call identification," Law said in the latest edition of Forest NSW's Bush Telegraph Magazine.

"The automation of bat call identification is seen as an essential development in the efficiency of this survey method and should ultimately fulfil both of these criteria."

The project was conducted by Law and other scientists from the Forest Science Centre, a unit of the state government body Industry & Investment NSW, and researchers from the University of Wollongong and the University of Ballarat.

Researchers took 4 000 bat calls and used a custom-made software program to develop identification keys for bat calls in different parts of New South Wales.

Bats use their calls to navigate and hunt using a process called echolocation in which high frequency ultrasounds, inaudible to humans, hit objects and echo back.

Although the identification was time-consuming, Law said it would lead to time and money savings in field surveys and possibly increase the accuracy rate and make long-term monitoring of bats cost-effective.

But the researchers said the development of automated identification keys for bat calls was in its infancy.

"The identification keys we have produced should undergo further testing and refinement using locally collected calls, before they are used to identify complete assemblages of bat species in future studies," said Law.
Read more on:    offbeat  |  animals  |  research
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

This is what South Africans Googled in 2014!

Find out who and what South Africans were most curious about in 2014!

 
 

I love summer.24

This hilarious song is your new holiday anthem
The world's least visited destination is breathtaking!
LOL treadmill fail!
Google’s top searches of 2014

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be emotionally defensive or reserved today. You need to step up today as there may be extra responsibilities to deal with....read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.