Surveying bat communities: A comparison between mist nets and the Anabat II bat detector system


A survey of bat communities was conducted in Missouri during the summer of 1998 using both mist nets and Anabat. Mist nets provide valuable information about population demographics and species diversity within bat communities. However, they can yield biased samples of bat community activity and may cause undue stress to captured bats. The use of ultrasonic bat detectors like Anabat can ameliorate some of these problems. Bat detectors are relatively easy to set up, require no direct contact with bats and can sample a wider variety of habitats. To test the relative merits of these two methods, we sampled a variety of habitats including ponds, streams, and fly ways using Anabat and mist nets in a paired design. This allowed for the simultaneous sampling of bat community activity necessary for direct comparison. Echolocation calls recorded by the Anabat were identified using a discriminate function analysis model based upon a library of known call sequences. Overall, values for species richness were significantly higher for Anabat II than for mist nets. Species richness was consistently higher for Anabat for all habitats and seven individual species and one species group was detected more frequently with Anabat than with mist nets. © Museum and Institute of Zoology PAS.



Document Type



Acoustic identification, Anabat, Chiroptera, Echolocation, Method comparison, Mist nets

Publication Date


Journal Title

Acta Chiropterologica