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Managing conflict between bats and humans: The response of soprano pipistrelles (pipistrellus pygmaeus) to exclusion from roosts in houses

Stone, Emma; Zeale, Matt R.K.; Newson, Stuart E.; Browne, William J.; Harris, Stephen; Jones, Gareth

Managing conflict between bats and humans: The response of soprano pipistrelles (pipistrellus pygmaeus) to exclusion from roosts in houses Thumbnail


Authors

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Dr Emma Stone Emma4.Stone@uwe.ac.uk
Senior Lecturer Environmental Biology

Matt R.K. Zeale

Stuart E. Newson

William J. Browne

Stephen Harris

Gareth Jones



Abstract

Copyright: © 2015 Stone et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Conflict can arise when bats roost in human dwellings and householders are affected adversely by their presence. In the United Kingdom, the exclusion of bats from roosts can be licensed under exceptional circumstances to alleviate conflict, but the fate of excluded bats and the impact on their survival and reproduction is not well understood. Using radiotracking, we investigated the effects of exclusion on the soprano pipistrelle Pipistrellus pygmaeus, a species that commonly roosts in buildings in Europe. Exclusions were performed under licence at five roosts in England in spring, when females were in the early stages of pregnancy. Following exclusion, all bats found alternative roosts and colonies congregated in nearby known roosts that had been used by radio-tagged bats prior to exclusion. We found no difference in roosting behaviour before and after exclusion. Both the frequency of roost switching and the type of roosts used by bats remained unchanged. We also found no change in foraging behaviour. Bats foraged in the same areas, travelled similar distances to reach foraging areas and showed similar patterns of habitat selection before and after exclusion. Population modelling suggested that any reduction in survival following exclusion could have a negative impact on population growth, whereas a reduction in productivity would have less effect. While the number of soprano pipistrelle exclusions currently licensed each year is likely to have little effect on local populations, the cumulative impacts of licensing the destruction of large numbers of roosts may be of concern.

Citation

Stone, E., Zeale, M. R., Newson, S. E., Browne, W. J., Harris, S., & Jones, G. (2015). Managing conflict between bats and humans: The response of soprano pipistrelles (pipistrellus pygmaeus) to exclusion from roosts in houses. PLoS ONE, 10(8), Article e0131825. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0131825

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jun 6, 2015
Online Publication Date Aug 5, 2015
Publication Date Aug 5, 2015
Deposit Date Oct 11, 2018
Publicly Available Date Oct 11, 2018
Journal PLoS ONE
Electronic ISSN 1932-6203
Publisher Public Library of Science
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 10
Issue 8
Article Number e0131825
DOI https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0131825
Public URL https://uwe-repository.worktribe.com/output/830100
Publisher URL http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0131825

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