Bats severely affected by tree loss, but they still manage to relocate

Scientist have pointed out in a study published in Journal of Wildlife Management that bats are one of the most severely affected species because of tree loss, but they are still somehow managing to relocate.

Scientists point out that it is important to identify how groups of animals select where to live for understanding social dynamics and for management and conservation. Scientists have examined the movement of a maternity colony of big brown bats as a response to naturally occurring tree loss.

Team found that this particular colony began moving to a new patch of forest approximately seven kilometers away when cumulative loss of trees, over three years, in the old patch reached 18%. Most bats roosted in the new patch by year four, when cumulative loss of roost trees reached 46%.

The authors noted that to maintain high densities of suitable roost trees for bats, management plans must retain live and dead trees in multiple stages of growth and decay.

“This is the first time that the movement of bats in response to a natural loss of roost trees has been documented. Our work suggests that general patterns for how bats respond to loss of roost trees may exist across bat species and forest types,” said lead author Kristin Bondo, MSc, PhD, of the University of Regina, in Canada.

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