Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Big city holds empty promise for bats

Date:
June 6, 2011
Source:
University of Calgary
Summary:
In the treeless, flat Prairie, you'd think a city would provide a good home for bats who like to snuggle up and roost in trees and buildings. But researchers made the surprising discovery that the urban landscape is far from ideal for these animals.

Paper co-author Dr. Joanna Coleman of the University of Calgary extracts a little brown bat from netting.
Credit: Grady Semmens, University of Calgary

In the treeless, flat Prairie, you'd think a city would provide a good home for bats who like to snuggle up and roost in trees and buildings. But researchers at the University of Calgary made the surprising discovery that the urban landscape is far from ideal for these animals.

Related Articles


"I was really surprised," says Dr. Joanna Coleman, a sessional lecturer and recent PhD graduate in biological sciences at the University of Calgary and lead author of the study. "I fully expected bats to benefit from the expected increase in availability of roosts and food -- insects -- in the city. Instead, I found no evidence to support my hypothesis."

This study is the first to assess urban life for Prairie bats. Never before has a proper demographic comparison between urban and non-urban bat populations been performed anywhere.

Researchers predicted that urban bats would have an enhanced body condition, better reproductive rates and increased successful production of juveniles. But the city's tall structures and imported landscape offered an empty promise.

"I figured that if urbanization was going to benefit any bats anywhere, it was particularly likely to do so for little brown bats in the Prairies," says Coleman, who is currently teaching biology at the University of Calgary's Qatar campus.

"I think little brown bats are drawn to the city in large numbers, and then find themselves having to compete harder to find the resources they need, ultimately to their detriment," says Coleman.

The study looked at 1,600 little brown bats (Myotis lucifugus) because they are the most prevalent in the region in and around Calgary. They also range over much of North America.

Studying bats in the urban environment is important for many reasons, says co-author Dr. Robert Barclay, biological sciences professor at the University of Calgary.

"The effects of urbanization on mammals are not well-studied compared to the effects on birds. Bats play very important roles in ecosystems, acting as primary predators of nocturnal insects, so knowing how they respond to various forms of habitat disturbance is critical," says Barclay.

"Urbanization is rapidly increasing so if we don't perform ecological studies in cities on the premise that they aren't true ecosystems, we're ignoring what is essentially the fastest-growing type of wildlife habitat."


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Joanna L. Coleman, Robert M. R. Barclay. Influence of Urbanization on Demography of Little Brown Bats (Myotis lucifugus) in the Prairies of North America. PLoS ONE, 2011; 6 (5): e20483 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0020483

Cite This Page:

University of Calgary. "Big city holds empty promise for bats." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 June 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110531135706.htm>.
University of Calgary. (2011, June 6). Big city holds empty promise for bats. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110531135706.htm
University of Calgary. "Big city holds empty promise for bats." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110531135706.htm (accessed November 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Baby Okapi Born at Houston Zoo

Raw: Baby Okapi Born at Houston Zoo

AP (Nov. 20, 2014) The Houston Zoo released video of a male baby okapi. Okapis, also known as the "forest giraffe", are native to the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Central Africa. Video is mute from source. (Nov. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Your Complicated Job Might Keep Your Brain Young

Your Complicated Job Might Keep Your Brain Young

Newsy (Nov. 20, 2014) Researchers at the University of Edinburgh found the more complex your job is, the sharper your cognitive skills will likely be as you age. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mysterious Glow Worms Found in the Amazon

Mysterious Glow Worms Found in the Amazon

Buzz60 (Nov. 20, 2014) Wildlife photographer Jeff Cremer teamed up with entomologist Aaron Pomerantz and others to investigate a predatory glow worm found in the Amazon. Patrick Jones (@Patrick_E_Jones) explains. Video provided by Buzz60
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

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