Bats spend half of their lives in their roosts, which play vital roles in the life histories of the bats that occupy them. More than half of all bat species roost in foliage. Within the Neotropics, 17 species of bat are known to modify foliage into structures referred to as ‘tents'. Of these species, Thomas's fruit eating bat (Dermanura watsoni) uses the widest range of plant species for roosts, constructing five different tent types. However, the factors influencing the distribution and quantity of tents are not fully understood for this species. The aims of our study were to investigate whether (1) micro-habitat characteristics influence the number of tents on individual plants and (2) macro-habitat features influence the frequency of plants used for tent-roosting in the surrounding landscape. Our results demonstrate that the distribution of tents was influenced by proximity to freshwater, with 48.8% of tents within 100 m of freshwater resources. Additionally, D. watsoni constructed tents in sheltered habitats with a high cover abundance of trees. These types of habitat areas should be targeted for conservation efforts to conserve this species.
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Vol. 23 • No. 1