Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Creatures Of The Night Help Guage Timber Practices

Date:
July 15, 2002
Source:
Mississippi State University
Summary:
Radio transmitters attached to nocturnal, reclusive bats may provide data that can help the national timber industry better plan harvesting practices. In a three-year study begun recently at Mississippi State, bats--the only mammals that fly--are helping university researchers gauge the environmental health of a commercially managed forest. Led by vertebrae ecologist Francisco J. Vilella, the effort is being funded by the Weyerhaeuser Corp.

Radio transmitters attached to nocturnal, reclusive bats may provide data that can help the national timber industry better plan harvesting practices.

In a three-year study begun recently at Mississippi State, bats--the only mammals that fly--are helping university researchers gauge the environmental health of a commercially managed forest. Led by vertebrae ecologist Francisco J. Vilella, the effort is being funded by the Weyerhaeuser Corp.

Vilella, an assistant leader of the Mississippi Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit in the Forest and Wildlife Research Center, said bats are a major component of forest ecosystems and will provide one measure of how timber operations affect biodiversity.

As a leading international forest products company, Weyerhaeuser holds distinctions, among other things, as the world's largest owner of merchantable softwood timber and the world's largest producer of softwood and hardwood timber.

"A commercial forest, unlike an undisturbed native forest, is made up of trees that are usually of the same age and type," Vilella explained. "Focusing on an intensively managed pine forest in Mississippi, we are looking at the roost site selection, habitat use and movement of red bats in particular."

Vilella said bats, like birds, "are a good indicator of environmental health" because they feed on insects and are highly susceptible to environmental influences.

Evaluating the effects of timber management practices on bats can help commercial companies make decisions about when and how to harvest trees while simultaneously protecting animal habitats, Vilella said.

While they migrate during winter to Central America, the Caribbean and Mexico, red bats spend their summer months in Mississippi and other Southeastern states. Females of the species also spend the summer--a primary timber-harvesting season--giving birth to their young.

To gather his airborne assistants, Vilella and graduate student Leslie D. Welch of Jakin, Ga., string nets around the sides of bridges and over streams, both primary areas in a bat's flight pattern. When safely in hand, the animals are gently fitted with tiny radio transmitters that are secured with surgical cement. After a couple of weeks, the radios fall off.

"It's a challenge to work with the radios because they are really small and their range is short," Vilella said. Further defining both "challenge" and "short," he explained that bat flight patterns must be monitored no farther than a quarter of a mile from where the animals go about their nightly routines.

Based on early results of what he readily admits is a most-unusual study, Vilella said the initial data shows adult female red bats with young to have an average home range of 138 acres, while the home ranges of breeding females may be as large as 264 acres. For adult males, the home ranges are larger, averaging 363 acres but extending to as much as 553 acres, he said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Mississippi State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Mississippi State University. "Creatures Of The Night Help Guage Timber Practices." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 July 2002. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/07/020715075012.htm>.
Mississippi State University. (2002, July 15). Creatures Of The Night Help Guage Timber Practices. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/07/020715075012.htm
Mississippi State University. "Creatures Of The Night Help Guage Timber Practices." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/07/020715075012.htm (accessed September 20, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: San Diego Zoo Welcomes Cheetah Cubs

Raw: San Diego Zoo Welcomes Cheetah Cubs

AP (Sep. 20, 2014) The San Diego Zoo has welcomed two Cheetah cubs to its Safari Park. The nearly three-week-old female cubs are being hand fed and are receiving around the clock care. (Sept. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Chocolate Museum Opens in Brussels

Chocolate Museum Opens in Brussels

AFP (Sep. 19, 2014) Considered a "national heritage" in Belgium, chocolate now has a new museum in Brussels. In a former chocolate factory, visitors to the permanent exhibition spaces, workshops and tastings can discover derivatives of the cocoa bean. Duration: 01:00 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

AP (Sep. 19, 2014) A federal jury has convicted three people in connection with an outbreak of salmonella poisoning five years ago that sickened hundreds of people and was linked to a number of deaths. (Sept. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins