Effects of Clear-Fell Harvest on Bat Home Range

Abstract

We investigated effects of roost loss due to clear-fell harvest on bat home range. The study took place in plantation forest, inhabited by the New Zealand long-tailed bat (Chalinolobus tuberculatus), in which trees are harvested between the ages 26-32 years. We determined home ranges by radiotracking different bats in areas that had and had not been recently clear-fell harvested. Home ranges were smaller in areas that had been harvested. Adult male bats selected 20-25 year old stands within home ranges before and after harvest. Males selected edges with open unplanted areas when harvest had not occurred but no longer selected these at proportions greater than their availability post harvest, probably because they were then readily available. This is the first radiotracking study to demonstrate a change in home range size and selection concomitant with felling of large areas of plantation forest, and thus quantify negative effects of forestry operations on this speciose group. The use of smaller home ranges post-harvest may reflect smaller colony sizes and lower roost availability, both of which may increase isolation of colonies and vulnerability to local extinction.

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0086163

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Cite this paper

@inproceedings{Borkin2014EffectsOC, title={Effects of Clear-Fell Harvest on Bat Home Range}, author={Kerry M. Borkin and Stuart Parsons}, booktitle={PloS one}, year={2014} }