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Social Calls of the Bats of Britain and Ireland
by Neil Middleton, Andrew Froud & Keith French

Although the echolocation calls of most bat species found in the UK have been well described, relatively little is known about other vocalisations produced by bats and the functions of these vocalisations. Social Calls of the Bats of Britain and Ireland is a new book that brings together a collection of these calls and summarises the existing knowledge about them.

Social Calls of the Bats cover courtesy the publisher This book 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.

In the book the authors provide some background on social calls and discuss how they may be classified and analysed. This introductory section is followed by a species by species description of a range of social calls that the authors have gathered from their own and others’ recordings. It includes access to a downloadable library of calls to be used in conjunction with the book. The sound files enhance the descriptions and sonograms of the majority of the calls.

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 the book.

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.

Social Calls of the Bats of Britain and Ireland contains a foreword by Dr Sandie Sowler and additional photographs by Derek Smith, as well as contributions from many others who have supported the work.

Pelagic Publishing Company
Publication Date: September 2014
Available from Amazon UK and Pelagic Publishing; also on Kindle
232 pages

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