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Foraging activity of bats in historic landscape parks in relation to habitat composition and park management

  • Miriam Glendell (a1) (a2) and Nancy Vaughan (a3)

Abstract

Bat activity was quantified in 15 historic landscape parks in England to assess the importance of habitat features within them for foraging bats. Unimproved grassland, water and plantation woodland were selected (used more than expected based on availability) by all bat species. Pipistrellus pipistrellus selected unimproved grassland and areas around water; Pipistrellus pygmaeus selected semi-natural woodland and tree lines; ‘Myotis group’ bats, (including Myotis spp., Plecotus spp. and Barbastella barbastellus) selected water and plantation woodland; and ‘Nyctalus group’ bats (including Nyctalus spp. and Eptesicus serotinus) selected unimproved grassland and parkland. The relative area of watercourses and tree lines in the landscape parks was the best predictor of bat activity. Landscape parks including unimproved grassland, water, parkland, semi-natural woodland, plantation woodland and tree lines have the most potential for foraging bats, and may form favourable ‘islands’ in intensively managed agricultural landscapes. To maximize the conservation value of historic landscape parks for bats, these habitats should be conserved or created.

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Corresponding author

All correspondence to: Nancy Vaughan. Tel: 0117 9545953; Fax: 0117 9257374; E-mail: nancy.vaughan@bristol.ac.uk

Foraging activity of bats in historic landscape parks in relation to habitat composition and park management

  • Miriam Glendell (a1) (a2) and Nancy Vaughan (a3)

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