Resource Documents: Bats (60 items)
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Author: Law, Peter; and Fuller, Mark
Anthropogenic alterations to landscape are indicators of potential compromise of that landscape’s ecology. We describe how alterations can be assessed as ‘hazards’ to wildlife through a sequence of three steps: diagnosing the means by which the hazard acts on individual organisms at risk; estimating the fitness cost of the hazard to those individuals and the rate at which that cost occurs; and translating that cost rate into a demographic cost by identifying the relevant demographically-closed population. We exploit the conservation-oriented literature on wind farms to illustrate this conceptual scheme. For wind farms, the third component has received less attention than the first two, which suggests it is the most challenging of the three components. A wind farm provides an example of a ‘spatially localized hazard’, i.e., a discrete alteration of landscape hazardous to some population but of which there are some individuals that do not interact directly with the hazard themselves but nevertheless suffer a reduction in fitness in terms of their contribution to the next generation. Spatially localized hazards are identified via the third component of the scheme and are of particular conservation concern as, by their nature, their depredations on wildlife may be underestimated without an appropriate population-level estimation of the demographic cost of the hazard.
Peter R. Law, Centre for African Conservation Ecology, Department of Zoology, Nelson Mandela University, South Africa
Mark Fuller, Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center, U.S. Geological Survey, Boise, Idaho
Ecological Indicators 94 (2018) 380–385
Download original document: “Evaluating anthropogenic landscape alterations as wildlife hazards, with wind farms as an example”
Migratory bats are attracted by red light but not by warm-white light: Implications for the protection of nocturnal migrants
Author: Voight, Christian; et al.
The replacement of conventional lighting with energy‐saving light emitting diodes (LED) is a worldwide trend, yet its consequences for animals and ecosystems are poorly understood. Strictly nocturnal animals such as bats are particularly sensitive to artificial light at night (ALAN). Past studies have shown that bats, in general, respond to ALAN according to the emitted light color and that migratory bats, in particular, exhibit phototaxis in response to green light. As red and white light is frequently used in outdoor lighting, we asked how migratory bats respond to these wavelength spectra. At a major migration corridor, we recorded the presence of migrating bats based on ultrasonic recorders during 10‐min light‐on/light‐off intervals to red or warm‐white LED, interspersed with dark controls. When the red LED was switched on, we observed an increase in flight activity for Pipistrellus pygmaeus and a trend for a higher activity for Pipistrellus nathusii. As the higher flight activity of bats was not associated with increased feeding, we rule out the possibility that bats foraged at the red LED light. Instead, bats may have flown toward the red LED light source. When exposed to warm‐white LED, general flight activity at the light source did not increase, yet we observed an increased foraging activity directly at the light source compared to the dark control. Our findings highlight a response of migratory bats toward LED light that was dependent on light color. The most parsimonious explanation for the response to red LED is phototaxis and for the response to warm‐white LED foraging. Our findings call for caution in the application of red aviation lighting, particularly at wind turbines, as this light color might attract bats, leading eventually to an increased collision risk of migratory bats at wind turbines.
Christian C. Voigt, Katharina Rehnig, Oliver Lindecke, Gunārs Pētersons
Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research, Berlin, Germany (CCV, KR, OL)
Institute of Biology, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany (CCV, OL)
Faculty of Life Science, University of Vienna, Austria (KR)
Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Latvia University of Life Sciences and Technologies, Jelgava (GP)
Ecology and Evolution. Published online August 25, 2018. doi: 10.1002/ece3.4400
Author: Millon, Lara; et al.
Previous studies have mainly focused on bat mortality through collision by wind turbines, and very few studies have assessed the indirect impacts on bat activity and on foraging habitat availability. Also, there is a global lack of knowledge on the vulnerability of tropical bat fauna due to wind energy production, even though it is well known that windpower can affect bat communities and biodiversity hotspots are widespread in the tropics. We present one of the first studies to quantify the indirect impact of wind farms on insectivorous bats in tropical hotspots of biodiversity. Bat activity was compared between wind farm sites and control sites, via ultrasound recordings at stationary points. The activity of bent winged bats (Miniopterus spp.) and wattled bats (Chalinolobus spp.) were both significantly lower at wind turbine sites. The result of the study demonstrates a large effect on bat habitat use at wind turbines sites compared to control sites. Bat activity was 20 times higher at control sites compared to wind turbine sites, which suggests that habitat loss is an important impact to consider in wind farm planning. We strongly recommend that the loss of the foraging habitat loss is considered in mitigation hierarchy (avoiding, reducing, offsetting) when compensating for negative impacts of wind farms.
Lara Millon, Célia Colin, Fabrice Brescia, IAC (Institut Agronomique néo-Calédonien), Equipe ARBOREAL (Agriculture Biodiversité et Valorisation) Païta, New Caledonia
Christian Kerbiriou, Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, Centre d’Ecologie et des Sciences de la Conservation, UMR 7204 MNHN-CNRS, France, and Station de Biologie Marine, Concarneau, France
Ecological Engineering 112 (2018) 51–54. doi: 10.1016/j.ecoleng.2017.12.024
Download original document: “Wind turbines impact bat activity, leading to high losses of habitat use in a biodiversity hotspot”
Author: Hammerson, Geoffrey; et al.
Conservationists are increasingly concerned about North American bats due to the arrival and spread of the White-nose Syndrome (WNS) disease and mortality associated with wind turbine strikes. To place these novel threats in context for a group of mammals that provides important ecosystem services, we performed the first comprehensive conservation status assessment focusing exclusively on the 45 species occurring in North America north of Mexico. Although most North American bats have large range sizes and large populations, as of 2015, 18–31% of the species were at risk (categorized as having vulnerable, imperiled, or critically imperiled NatureServe conservation statuses) and therefore among the most imperiled terrestrial vertebrates on the continent [emphasis added]. Species richness is greatest in the Southwest, but at-risk species were more concentrated in the East, and northern faunas had the highest proportion of at-risk species. Most ecological traits considered, including those characterizing body size, roosting habits, migratory behavior, range size, home range size, population density, and tendency to hibernate, were not strongly associated with conservation status. However, nectarivorous bats tended to be more at risk. The conservation status of bats improved from 1985 to 2000 as human disturbances to roosting sites were reduced, but then declined sharply (7%) by 2015 due principally to threats from WNS and wind energy. Although uncertainty about threats from pollution and climate change remain, past experience shows that when threats are clearly identified and management actions taken, populations can recover.
G.A. Hammerson, NatureServe, Port Townsend, Washington
M. Kling, Dept. of Integrative Biology, University of California, Berkeley, California
M. Harkness, NatureServe, Boulder, Colorado
M. Ormes, NatureServe, c/o Biology Department, University of Massachusetts, Boston, Massachusetts
B.E. Young, NatureServe, Escazu, Costa Rica
Biological Conservation, Volume 212, Part A, August 2017, Pages 144-152
Download original document: “Strong geographic and temporal patterns in conservation status of North American bats”