Ecological assessments of the effects of anthropogenic change often focus on species richness or species abundances. Nonetheless, changes in behavior (e.g., activity patterns) may provide equally important insights into responses to disturbance that have conservation or management implications. Because many neotropical bats provide critical ecosystem services, their responses may be of particular conservation concern. We evaluated the effects of season and habitat conversion on temporal activity patterns of 8 abundant species of frugivorous bats in lowland tropical rain forest of Iquitos, Perú. Season had little effect on activity patterns of any species of bat. Five species exhibited different activity patterns in primary or secondary forest compared to agricultural habitats. No interspecific differences in activity patterns occurred in primary forest. In agricultural areas, the patterns of activity of Carollia benkeithi and Rhinophylla pumilio were distinct from those of other species. In secondary forest, activity patterns of Artibeus lituratus and R. pumilio were distinct from those of other species. Temporal activity patterns of common frugivores overlapped more than expected by chance, regardless of season or habitat. Neotropical frugivores avoid open areas during twilight to reduce risk of predation. Nonetheless, to meet their considerable minimum daily caloric intake requirements, frugivores forage throughout most of the night. Increased habitat fragmentation may effectively reduce foraging times and subject bats to increased risk from predators during twilight and periods of great lunar illumination, when bats avoid open areas.
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