Impact of human disturbance, density, and environmental conditions on the survival probabilities of pipistrelle bat (Pipistrellus pipistrellus)
- 486 Downloads
Natural and anthropogenic disturbances can strongly impact population dynamics of species and are often responsible for zoonotic emerging infectious diseases. However, long-term studies on the demographic consequences of human disturbances are unusual. We used 6 years (1995–2000) of mark-recapture data to investigate how climatic conditions, human disturbance and density affect sex- and age-specific apparent survival probabilities of the pipistrelle bat (Pipistrellus pipistrellus, Schreber 1774) in a maternity colony. Our study demonstrated that density played an important role in population dynamics of pipistrelle bat and that its effect differed with respect to age and sex. Notably, human disturbance caused a strong decline of adult female survival, suggesting that perturbations have important consequences in bat-colony dynamics. Juvenile female survival was negatively influenced by density, being considerably lower in high densities. In contrast, juvenile and adult males were apparently not affected as they had constant survival probabilities. Although climatic factors can markedly affect population dynamics of temperate insectivorous bats, in this study, the weather conditions did not influence the survival rates of pipistrelle bats. We provide the first report that demonstrates the density-dependent effect on bat survival. That is especially relevant to better understanding of the bat-population dynamics and to evaluate the consequences of human disturbance and their potential changes in the maternity colony structure.
KeywordsCapture-recapture Chiroptera Demography Density dependence Human perturbation
The authors thank the Nostra Senyora Maria del Remei School and its administrator for allowing us to conduct research on its property. Special thanks to all the researchers and volunteers who helped with fieldwork over the last 6 years. We also thank the Departament de Medi Ambient (Generalitat de Catalunya) for providing weather data and the permit to capture and band bats.
- Burnham KP, Anderson DR (2002) Model selection and multimodel inference: a practical information–theoretic approach, 2nd edn. Springer, New YorkGoogle Scholar
- Burnham KP, Anderson DR, White GC, Brownie C, Pollock KH (1987) Design and analysis methods for fish survival experiments based on release–recapture. Am Fish Soc Monogr 5:1–437Google Scholar
- Gerell R, Lundberg K (1990) Sexual differences in survival rates of adult pipistrelle bats (Pipistrellus pipistrellus) in South Sweden. Oecologia 83:401–404Google Scholar
- Hoyle SD, Pople AR, Toop GJ (2001) Mark–recapture may reveal more about ecology than about population trends: demography of a threatened ghost bat (Macroderma gigas) population. Aust Ecol 26:80–92Google Scholar
- Hutterer R, Ivanova T, Meyer-Cords C, Rodrigues L (2005) Bat migrations in Europe. A review of banding data and literature. Federal Agency for Nature Conservation, BonnGoogle Scholar
- Lettink M, Armstrong DP (2003) An introduction to using mark recapture analysis for monitoring threatened species. Department of Conservation Technical Series 28A: 5–32 (http://www.doc.govt.nz/Documents/science-and-technical/docts28a.pdf)
- Łupicki D, Cichocki J, Szkudlarek R, Wazna A (2010) Cannibalism in maternity colonies of the greater mouse-eared bat Myotis myotis. Mammalia 74:339–341Google Scholar
- Newton I (1998) Population limitation in birds. Academic Press, LondonGoogle Scholar
- O’Shea TJ, Ellison LE, Stanley TR (2004) Survival estimation in bats: historical overview, critical appraisal, and suggestions for new approaches. In: Thompson WL (ed) Sampling rare and elusive species: concepts, designs, and techniques for estimating population parameters. Island Press, Washington, DC, pp 297–336Google Scholar
- Serra-Cobo J, López-Roig M, Bayer X, Amengual-Pieras B, Guasch F (2009) The bats: science and myth. Publications and Editions of Barcelona University, BarcelonaGoogle Scholar
- Sinclair AR (1989) Population regulation in animals. In: Cherrett JM, Bradshaw AD (eds) Ecological concepts: the contribution of ecology to an understanding of the natural world. Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford, pp 197–241Google Scholar