Foraging behaviour of Myotis mystacinus and M. brandtii in relation to a big road and railway in southcentral Sweden
Roads and railways are increasing worldwide. One taxa that is affected by this is bats. Bats are directly killed by vehicles and experience behavioural changes around roads and railways. There are different mitigation measurements to help bats cross roads safely, including different over- and underpasses. One genus of bats that has been shown negatively affected by roads and railways in many areas is Myotis.
In this study we examined the behaviour of two Myotis species: M. mystacinus and M. brandtii. We tested the hypothesis that large roads and railways crossing a forest dominated area act as barriers for these species and that they would use over- and underpasses to cross the road and railway safely. To study this, we conducted an autobox survey and radio-tracked individual bats. We had no recordings or direct observations where bats crossed the road or railway directly. We did, however, observe bats using both over- and underpasses. Our results suggest that large roads and railways act as barriers for M. mystacinus and M. brandtii, in the sense that they avoid crossing the road and railway. We can conclude that these species use mitigation measurements, such as over- and underpasses, in areas where they are available. It is therefore important to include these mitigation measurements when constructing new roads and railways.
Författare: Johanna Kammonen