The assemblages, fitness and movements of bats (chiroptera, vespertilionidae and rhinolophidae) in the urban matrix
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractIn this study I examine the assemblages, morphometric differences and movements of bats in urban and suburban green spaces within Birmingham and the Black Country in the West Midlands, UK. This was achieved by undertaking 111 Advanced Bat Licence Surveys at 16 trapping sites, and 91 activity and crossing point surveys at 26 survey sites between 2018 and 2022. Results of the study show that for bats living in this urban matrix, a key factor affecting species richness, diversity and evenness was the amount of grey space at a local (250-500m) scale. Riparian habitats associated with grey space were negatively associated with species richness at a 3km scale. Catch demographics were strongly influenced by the presence of water and swarming opportunities. The data demonstrated significant differences in the size and fat stores of urban and rural populations, with four out of five target species being significantly larger in the urban study area, and fat stores being greater for rural gleaning species, and for urban non-gleaning species. I successfully designed and field tested a novel technique for monitoring the movements of bats along waterways. The data identified commuting routes, hop-on / hop-off sites, crossing points and roost locations, and allowed roost occupancy counts in tunnels. It also demonstrated that risk-taking at barrier crossings is species-specific, with Myotis daubentonii crossing road barriers safely and Pipistrellus pipistrellus doing so unsafely (i.e., over the roads and at risk of direct mortality). The method can provide quantitative data on a landscape scale, on multiple bats, and can be carried out with minimal field training using readily available equipment. These results demonstrate that the effect on bats living within an extensive conurbation is a complex and species-specific, showing that not all species are equally vulnerable to the stresses of living in a conurbation, and indicating that impact assessments, mitigation and conservation efforts should be equally species-specific.
CitationHughes, M. (2023) The assemblages, fitness and movements of bats (chiroptera, vespertilionidae and rhinolophidae) in the urban matrix. University of Wolverhampton. http://hdl.handle.net/2436/625300
PublisherUniversity of Wolverhampton
TypeThesis or dissertation
DescriptionA thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements of the University of Wolverhampton for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
The following licence applies to the copyright and re-use of this item:
- Creative Commons
Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International