Nature conservation

Native animals

Bat calls of NSW - region-based guide to the echolocation calls of Microchiropteran bats

This document is a region-based identification guide to the search phase calls of insectivorous bats from NSW, using the Anabat system. This system is based on a library of more than 1200 reference calls, collected from 31 species throughout NSW over the last four years by the authors and individual contributors.

Development of the guide was a collaborative effort between the NPWS (part of OEH) and Forests NSW.

For each species found in NSW there is a description of the known call characteristics, including:

  • call shape
  • characteristic frequency
  • regional notes
  • similar species that may be confused with the species in question regarding call
  • ways to distinguish between similar species
  • instances where species cannot be separated on the basis of call.

The guide provides high quality information to help consultants and researchers to identify species. It will also help people who hire bat consultants, allowing them to understand and monitor results provided to them without requiring an extensive knowledge of how Anabat works.

Topics include:

  • the collection of reference calls
  • selection of good calls for analysis
  • identifying call characteristics and features
  • ways bats vary their calls that could lead to errors in identification.

Documents to download

Download Anabat files for each of the species

The following reference calls are Anabat system call files. Note that you do not need the Anabat files to use the call guide.

Anabat system call files for all species referred to in Bat calls of NSW (ZIP - 3.2MB)

Reference calls for bats in particular regions of NSW:

Anabat system call files for all species referred to in 'Bat calls of NSW'

The files have been compressed using Winzip, and you will need Winzip installed on your computer to open them. To view them, you will need a recent version of Analook software. You can download Analook from either of the following websites:

Contribute to the guide

This guide will be updated as new data becomes available. Feedback from bat researchers who have collected reference calls that contradict or add to species descriptions is invited. For more information, contact Michael Pennay.



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Page last updated: 10 February 2014