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1 December 2020 Bats on the Road — A Review of the Impacts of Roads and Highways on Bats
Daniel F. Ramalho, Ludmilla M. S. Aguiar
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Abstract

The increase in human population has resulted in environmental alterations and habitat fragmentation, such as those caused by road construction. Since the late 1990s, there has been an increase in studies evaluating the effects of roads on vertebrate populations; however, few studies have considered bats in road ecology studies. In this review on road ecology studies focusing on bats, we evaluated the impacts of roads on bat mortality, commuting, and foraging. We also evaluated the use of road structures as roosts and provide suggestions for future research and mitigation methods based on available results. Road impacts on bat activity and roadkill are strongly influenced by landscape features, and areas with short trees have more impact on roadkill. Also, in open areas, bats prefer to forage near roads whereas in woodland areas activity increases with distance from the road. Most studies evaluating the effects of roads on bats have been conducted in Europe, therefore it is essential that these studies are conducted in other areas, especially in developing countries. To ensure the conservation of bat species, it is imperative that studies consider all impacts that roads have on bat populations and that mitigation measures are applied, especially when road construction meets bat commuting or foraging paths.

© Museum and Institute of Zoology PAS
Daniel F. Ramalho and Ludmilla M. S. Aguiar "Bats on the Road — A Review of the Impacts of Roads and Highways on Bats," Acta Chiropterologica 22(2), 417-433, (1 December 2020). https://doi.org/10.3161/15081109ACC2020.22.2.015
Received: 17 May 2019; Accepted: 23 December 2019; Published: 1 December 2020
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