Diet affects how high bats can fly, biologist Fernando Carvalho said, citing the results of research at a nature reserve in Brazil's Parana state.

The research project's goal is to help scientists better understand the different bat species at the Salto Morato Nature Reserve, a surviving Atlantic forest remnant in Parana, which borders Argentina.

Carvalho uses nets set at different heights to capture the flying mammals at various sites in the reserve, located about 170 kilometers (105 miles) from Curitiba, the capital of Parana.

The U.S.-made nets can be up to nine meters (30 feet) long, Carvalho said.

The field research project started in September and is expected to last one year, the scientist said.

A total of 167 bats from 18 different species have been captured so far, accounting for nearly 70 percent of the species present at the reserve, Carvalho said.

Ten bats from each species are killed so they can be studied in the lab, with the rest of the creatures marked and released, the scientist said.

The specialist has not been able to capture any fish-eating bats yet.

"Those are tougher, but we've spent hours on the water because we're sure that there are some in the reserve," Carvalho told Efe during a visit by a group of reporters to the park. EFE