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Roost site selection by southern forest bat Vespadelus regulus and Gould's long-eared bat Nyctophilus gouldi in logged jarrah forests; south-western Australia

Webala, P.W., Craig, M.D, Law, B.S., Wayne, A.F. and Bradley, J.S. (2010) Roost site selection by southern forest bat Vespadelus regulus and Gould's long-eared bat Nyctophilus gouldi in logged jarrah forests; south-western Australia. Forest Ecology and Management, 260 (10). pp. 1780-1790.

Link to Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2010.08.022
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Abstract

Information on roosting requirements and responses to forest management is integral to effectively conserve and manage bat populations. Tree hollows are especially important for roosting bats given the long time taken for hollows to form. We used radiotelemetry to compare roost site selection in two species, Vespadelus regulus and Nyctophilus gouldi, in logged jarrah forests of south-western Australia. We compared characteristics of roost trees and forest structure around roost trees (n= 48) with randomly located plots at a local roost tree level (n= 90) in February and March 2009. For landscape features, we compared roost trees with randomly selected trees in the broader landscape that had cavities or exfoliating bark (n= 204). V. regulus roosted solely in hollows that were located predominantly in contemporarily unlogged buffers and mature forest while N. gouldi used a broader range of roost types, located in contemporarily unlogged buffers and mature forest and in retained habitat trees in gap release and shelterwood creation silvicultural treatments. In contrast with N. gouldi, which selected hollows or crevices under bark near the ground and close to vegetation, V. regulus used hollows that were high above ground and had little surrounding vegetation. Both species preferred large trees, in intermediate or advanced stages of decay and crown senescence. Bats changed roosts frequently, with short distances between subsequent roosts, suggesting a degree of spatial fidelity. Contemporarily unlogged buffers and mature forest contained higher densities of trees with hollows than gap release and shelterwood creation areas, potentially providing more alternate bat roosts. Our results demonstrate the importance of mature forest and unlogged buffers as bat roost sites in logged jarrah forests of south-western Australia, but the area of old forest required by these and co-occurring bat species remains to be determined.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Biological Sciences and Biotechnology
Publisher: Elsevier BV
Copyright: © 2010 Elsevier B.V.
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/3111
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