Research video: conserving bats in cities

I’ve put together this short video which covers some of the work we’re doing on ensuring urban microbat populations remain viable in spite of development:

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7 Comments

  1. enjoyed the video Pia. How vulnerable are micro-bat species to extreme heat events? I know the larger flying fox species are vulnerable to heat stress when temperatures exceed 41-43C (Welbergen et al 2008) Is this the case for micro-bat species as well? Interested in your thoughts.

    1. Thanks John! Presumably because they’re a bit more sheltered in their roosts during the day, the micros don’t seem to be as affected by extreme heat events as the flying foxes. They also change their preferences in terms of the kinds of nest boxes they choose depending on the season/weather. In the last Melbourne heat wave we collected several thousand flying fox carcasses from the Yarra Bend colony (poor things), but found only four dead micros in the boxes at the Organ Pipes NP (out of about 400 individuals).

      1. Thanks for that answer Pia. So anecdotal evidence indicates micros may have more adaptable behaviour with regards to extreme heat events than their larger cousins making them less vulnerable.
        Do they compete for the same food? If species populations of larger flying foxes decline, are we likely to see more micros filling their ecological niche, especially in urban areas?

      2. No, they’re pretty ecologically distinct: flying foxes are frugivores/nectarivores, while the micros stick to insects. An increase in micros would be nice though!

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