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Sjölund, Amanda, 2015. Bat activity at a major road in Sweden. First cycle, G2E. Uppsala: SLU, Dept. of Ecology

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Abstract

Humans have changed ecosystems steadily over the years, leading to habitat fragmentation and loss.
Road- and railroad networks are rapidly expanding around the world and disintegrating natural
landscapes. Habitat loss, habitat fragmentation and habitat degradation are three factors why bat
species are threatened, and infrastructure such as roads has the potential to contribute to all of these
factors. This is the first study of bats and the impact roads have on bats in Sweden. In this study we
tested whether the major road acts as a barrier to movement of four different taxa of bats. Especially
we focused on the activity of Myotis species at various environments in the landscape in relation to a
major road. We placed auto boxes that automatically record bat ultra sounds in 34 study sites around
Enköping for seven weeks. We had 8 sites along a major road, 8 sites in open gaps between forests
without any roads, 4 sites at wildlife passages and 14 control sites within the forest. The results of
this study show avoidance behaviour in Myotis, and Eptesicus species. For Nyctalus` the road does
not reveal to be any obstacle. Observations of Pipistrellus species were too few to draw any
conclusions. An important conclusion in this study is that there is not a difference in Myotis- activity
between the road and open gaps in the forest. Both types of openings are avoided. However, wildlife
passages are used for foraging and commuting. It is important to do further studies to improve the
mitigation measures for bats in infrastructure projects in Sweden. More knowledge about the
different taxa’s behaviour near major roads and an understanding of the thresholds, such as limit
distances for Myotis in open gaps are necessary to draw conclusions about mitigation measures and
alternatives for ecoducts.

Main title:Bat activity at a major road in Sweden
Authors:Sjölund, Amanda
Supervisor:De Jong, Johnny
Examiner:Seiler, Andreas
Series:Självständigt arbete/Examensarbete / SLU, Institutionen för ekologi
Volume/Sequential designation:2015:22
Year of Publication:2015
Level and depth descriptor:First cycle, G2E
Student's programme affiliation:NK001 Biology and Environmental Science - Bachelor's Programme 180 HEC
Department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Ecology
(S) > Dept. of Ecology
Keywords:bat activity, fragmentation, road, Myotis, Eptesicus, Nyctalus, Pipistrellus, Chiroptera
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-s-4990
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-s-4990
Subjects:Animal ecology
Language:English
Deposited On:01 Dec 2015 11:23
Metadata Last Modified:26 Apr 2016 07:31

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