Network analysis reveals cryptic seasonal patterns of association in Gould's wattled bats (Chalinolobus gouldii) roosting in bat-boxes
Lisa N Godinho, Linda F Lumsden, Graeme Coulson, Stephen R Griffiths
Behaviour | BRILL ACADEMIC PUBLISHERS | Published : 2015
Tree-roosting bats are highly social mammals, which often form fission-fusion societies. However, extensive, fine scale data is required to detect and interpret these patterns. We investigated the social structure of Gould's wattled bats, Chalinolobus gouldii, roosting in artificial roosts (bat-boxes) over a continuous 18-month period. Network analyses revealed non-random associations among individuals in the roosting population consistent with a temperate zone fission-fusion social structure. Females generally showed stronger associations with roost-mates than did males. Two distinct sub-groups within the larger roosting population were detected. There was also evidence of smaller subunits ..View full abstract
We thank staff at the La Trobe University Wildlife Sanctuary for help during fieldwork, and Graeme Pendock for developing the remote monitoring system. Caragh Threlfall and three anonymous reviewers provided useful comments on the manuscript. This work was funded by the Holsworth Wildlife Research Endowment, Bat Conservation International, and the Department of Electrical Engineering at The University of Melbourne. All animal capture and handling procedures were carried out under permits from the University of Melbourne Animal Ethics Committee (Ethics Permit 0701162) and the Department of Sustainability and Environment Victoria (Research Permit 10003144).