The Plymouth Student Scientist

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Biological and Marine Sciences Article


Urbanisation and human population growth is a threat to biodiversity at a global scale. Bats in urban green areas are becoming increasingly acknowledged within the literature as we begin to understand their importance as useful bioindicators. Bat activity and diversity was examined through passive acoustic monitoring of four sites in Plymouth (UK) during October 2022 (Central Park, Ham Wood, Radford Lake, Saltram Park). This was completed to compare sites with differing percentages of habitats, and make implications for the future management of urban green spaces to benefit bats. Basic habitat surveys of each site were undertaken, estimating the percentage of each habitat type within 0.1km2 of each recording device. It was hypothesised that larger sites, sites with more habitats, and sites with higher levels of connectivity to surrounding green spaces would have higher bat activity, diversity, and overall species richness. Radford lake had the highest activity and diversity of bats in comparison to the other three sites, and was the only site to include all of the chosen habitats bats are known to use (tree cover, water, open areas, and urban spaces such as housing). The results of this study indicate that increased habitat heterogeneity could be a crucial factor influencing bat behaviour in urban green spaces, and that site size alone may not be of as much importance. These findings also highlight how connectivity through the urban matrix could be having a positive effect on bats in Plymouth. From our data we hope to advise future management of urban green spaces for the conservation of bats and ultimately aid the recovery of biodiversity in the UK.

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The Plymouth Student Scientist





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December 2023

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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