Dr. Michael Schöner
University of Costa Rica
Effectiveness of artificial roosts for Neotropical bat species
Habitat loss, land conversion and fragmentation pose substantial worldwide threats to bat populations. The situation is particularly dire for bats in tropical rainforests. Tropical bats rely on intact forests for foraging and roosting. Dr. Schöner's team will combine research on sensory ecology, bat behavior and sociality with conservation data in a pilot program involving artificial bat roosts (ABRs).
The team will investigate; 1) whether certain species are more inclined to use ABRs, 2) discover if species less likely to use ABRs are generally more endangered because they rely heavily on certain roost characteristics, 3) verify if certain stimuli (acoustic, olfactory or a mix of both) promote ABR colonization, 4) examine what kind of bat echolocation calls are most effective in attracting colony members to ABRs and finally, 5) determine if there are differences in acceptance of ABRs depending upon forest conditions.
The researchers will deploy several Song Meter SM4BAT FS ultrasonic recorders in combination with video recorders in Osa, Costa Rica and the Soberania National Park, Panama. The Song Meters will capture echolocation and social calls of bats. Calls will be analyzed along with the video footage to understand which species only inspect ABRs, which stay, and observe how visiting bats react to other species in the area.
The research results will be used to support the implementation of artificial bat roosts in tropical forests and have potential for global deployment.
Dr. Thilina Surasinghe and Maria Armour
Bridgewater State University Foundation
Use of biophonic signals to assess occupancy of anurans and bats in in southern Massachusetts outside state protected area network
Thilina and Maria will be working with Massachusetts conservation authorities to conduct acoustic surveys in two habitats protected outside the state protected area network. The locations in the northeastern coastal plains of southeastern Massachusetts hold natural and ecological value because historical ranges of several bats and anuran taxa (frogs and toads) of conservation concern overlap with the state protected areas.
Confirmation of the historical records are critical for future conservation. Bats and anurans traverse across evolving landscapes for a variety of life-history functions (e.g. development, growth, maturation and reproduction) and the acoustic study will provide important insight into the effects of altered landscapes with these creatures.
The vocalization data captured by the Song Meters will be used to create acoustic idiocies of community diversity, species activity and soundscape complexity. The information will be shared with public and private stewards involved in local land management efforts.