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Bat Issues | Human intrusion on Megabat habitats, Flying-foxes, Fruit bats

Reported in Scientific Reports by researchers from the University of Sydney, University of Melbourne and State University of New York, the study traces how pressures such as expanding human populations, urbanisation and forest fragmentation altered the shape and size of the habitats of pteropid fruit bats (flying foxes) in the decades between 1980 and 2015.

“Pteropid fruit bats are essential pollinators and seed distributors in tropical and subtropical forests,” says Dr Michael Walsh of the University of Sydney’s Marie Bashir Institute, who led the study.

“Human-caused changes in their habitat exemplify the precarious balance between ecosystem integrity."

“When these changes in natural habitats create new configurations of ecosystems and animal populations that subsequently generate increased or unprecedented contact between human, domestic animal and wildlife communities.”

“Expanding suburban communities may draw foraging flying foxes from nearby forest ranges into encroaching residential and community gardens”.

First, they modeled changes in 1713 geo-located sightings of pteropid fruit bats P. alecto and P. conspicillatus at three different time points between 1980 and 2015 in response to factors such as climate, topography, and human migration in the preceding decade.

They found that rainfall, altitude, temperature, and human migration were highly associated with decadal changes in the ecological niche (as measured by sightings) of the black flying fox and the spectacled flying fox.

“These changes predict that southeastern Queensland and northeastern NSW show consistently high habitat suitability, while advancing toward and beyond Sydney. There is also a corridor along the northern coast of the Northern Territory that shows a high degree of predicted habitat suitability.”

Furthermore, human intrusion into their habitats, human proximity to woodlands and vegetation loss.



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BatsRule!: Bat Issues | Human intrusion on Megabat habitats, Flying-foxes, Fruit bats
Bat Issues | Human intrusion on Megabat habitats, Flying-foxes, Fruit bats
Human intrusion on Megabat habitats, Flying-foxes, Fruit bats
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