Bats and Water: Anthropogenic alterations threaten global bat populations

Publication Year:

Natural bodies of open water in desert landscapes, such as springs and ephemeral pools, and the plant-life they support, are important resources for the survival of animals in hyper arid, arid and semi-arid (dryland) environments. Human-made artificial water sources, i.e. waste-water treatment ponds, catchments and reservoirs, have become equally important for wildlife in those areas. Bodies of open water are used by bats either for drinking and/or as sites over which to forage for aquatic emergent insects. Due to the scarcity of available water for replenishing water losses during roosting and flight, open bodies of water of many shapes and sizes may well be a key resource influencing the survival, activity, resource use and the distribution of insectivorous bats. In this chapter, we review the current knowledge of bats living in semi- and arid regions around the world and discuss the factors that influence their richness,  behaviour and activity around bodies of water. We further present how increased anthropogenic changes in hydrology and water availability may influence the distribution of species of bats in desert environments and offer directions for future research on basic and applied aspects on bats and the water they use in these environments.

Publication Title:

Bats in the Anthropocene: Conservation of bats in a changing world

Voigt CC, Kingston T
Item Type:
Book or Magazine Section
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Bats and water 2016.pdf 844.13 KB

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