Skip to main content

Building

A better future

through education, skill development and research

LEARN MORE

Do Bats Adapt to Gates at Abandoned Mines?

Abandoned mines can serve as roost sites for bats, but because the mines pose serious risks to humans, officials often install gates at their entrances.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018 12:01 am EDT
"Bats are often viewed negatively, but they are critical to our ecosystems"

Abandoned mines can serve as roost sites for bats, but because the mines pose serious risks to humans, officials often install gates at their entrances. With more than 80,000 abandoned mines in the southwestern United States, these subterranean habitats are important to bat survival as

human disturbances from recreation and other activities at natural caves are affecting their use by bats.

A new Journal of Wildlife Management study found that most gates installed today do not impede usage of the site, with bats acclimating over time after gates are placed. The new findings are important because prior to the study, biologists knew little about the effect of gates on bat behavior.

Certain factors were more important than gate design in predicting the presence of some bat species, including elevation, portal area, number of mine levels and entrances. Although the researchers saw no difference in bats’ responses to gate height or material, less maneuverable bat species initially collided and landed more frequently on gates than did agile species.

The findings will inform management on closure methods at caves and abandoned mines in the United States and beyond.

“Bats are often viewed negatively, but they are critical to our ecosystems,” said lead author Dr. Carol Chambers, of Northern Arizona University. “Bats face many difficulties today, from white-nose syndrome to habitat loss. Our findings help protect these animals and keep humans safe.”


Additional Information

Link to Studyhttps://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/jwmg.21498

About Journal

The Journal of Wildlife Management publishes manuscripts containing information from original research that contributes to basic wildlife science. Suitable topics include investigations into the biology and ecology of wildlife and their habitats that has direct or indirect implications for wildlife management and conservation.

Multimedia Files:

Preview image

Contact:

Penny Smith
+44 (0) 1243 770448
sciencenewsroom@wiley.com

Business Wire NewsHQsm