Journal article

Long-term monitoring suggests bat boxes may alter local bat community structure

Stephen R Griffiths, Linda F Lumsden, Robert Bender, Robert Irvine, Lisa N Godinho, Casey Visintin, Danielle L Eastick, Kylie A Robert, Pia E Lentini

Australian Mammalogy | CSIRO PUBLISHING | Published : 2019

Abstract

Bat boxes are often used to provide supplementary roosting habitats; however, little is known of their impacts on community composition. Data collected from a 25-year box-monitoring and 31-year harp trapping case study provides preliminary evidence that the installation of boxes may have contributed to one species, Gould’s wattled bat (Chalinolobus gouldii), dominating the bat community of a periurban park in Melbourne. This highlights the need for systematic monitoring and empirical assessment of conservation-focused bat box programs.

Grants

Awarded by ARC Linkage Project


Funding Acknowledgements

We thank Ray Brereton, Martin Schulz, Natasha Schedvin and Debbie Reynolds, plus the many volunteers who have generously contributed their time over the last three decades. Phoebe Macak provided useful comments on an earlier draft of the manuscript. This study was funded by the Parks Victoria Research Partners Panel (grant to SRG and KAR), Bat Conservation International (grant to LNG), the Holsworth Wildlife Research Endowment (grant to SRG), the Wettenhall Environment Trust (grant to SRG), the M. A. Ingram Trust (SRG), the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning Communities for Nature Grant (grant to SRG and PEL), and with support from the Victorian Government. SRG and DE are supported by Australian Government Research Training Program Scholarships. PEL is supported by ARC Linkage Project LP160100439. All animal capture and handling procedures were carried out under ethics approval, and under research permits from the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, Victoria.