The use of bat detectors to monitor bat activity is common. Although several papers have compared the performance of different brands, none have dealt with the effect of different habitats nor have they compared narrow- and broad-band detectors. In this study the performance of four brands of ultrasonic bat detector, including three narrow- band and one broad-band model, were compared for their ability to detect a 40 kHz continuous sound of variable amplitude along 100 metre transects. Transects were laid out in two contrasting bat habitat types: grassland and forest. Results showed that the different brands of detector differed in their ability to detect the source in terms of maximum and minimum detectable distance of the source. The rate of sound degradation with distance as measured by each brand was also different. Significant differences were also found in the performance of different brands in open grassland versus deep forest. No significant differences were found within any brand of detector. Though not as sensitive as narrow-band detectors, broad-band models hold an advantage in their ability to identify species where several species are found symmetrically.
bat detector, habitat, comparison, ultrasound, transmission