We assessed foraging activity of insectivorous bats in a fragmented landscape of central Chile including native temperate forest, forest fragments, commercial pine plantations and local human settlements. Overall bat activity was noticeably greater along adult pine plantation edges, local human settlements and the edge of continuous forest than over interior habitats and unplanted forest plantation clear-cuts. Tadarida brasiliensis foraged mostly above human settlements and edges of adult pine plantations but avoided interior habitats. Lasiurus cinereus was more active along edges of both adult pine plantations and continuous forest than in clearcuts and interior habitats of forest fragments. In contrast, Lasiurus varius, Histiotus montanus and Myotis chiloensis occurred not only along vegetation edges but also within the interior habitats of adult pine plantations. The high activity levels suggest that bats not only pass through exotic pine plantations, but that they are active in these habitats commuting and feeding, thus enhancing their capacity to persist in landscapes modified by humans in which exotic forestry plantations are an important component.
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Vol. 15 • No. 2