Well done indeed to Ben and Iroro — recipients of 2016 Student Research Scholarships from Bat Conservation International. Only 17 awards were granted, so they did a great job.
Iroro’s project is entitled “Ecological predictors of forest interior insectivorous bat habitat and conservation of the vulnerable Hipposideros curtus” and she received special recognition as a “Women in Conservation Science Award Recipient”. Iroro is out in the field even as we speak.
Ben’s project “Conservation assessment of Rousettus aegyptiacus: hunting effects and ecosystem services in southern Nigeria” is off to a flying start — he heads to the field this summer.
The Kingston lab would like to express its sincere thanks to Bat Conservation International for their support, and congratulations to all this year’s recipients — some great work going on!
Before Marina started working on spatial bias in species distribution models and the SEABCRU database, she spent a couple of summers exploring the efficacy of driven transects in detecting bats in the low bat-density habitats around Lubbock. In our arid, largely treeless, waterless plain (the study was conducted during a 4-yr drought), stationary bat detectors remain silent, and pretty much the only way to detect bat activity is by extending the spatial extent of sampling by driving. This has implications for others surveying and monitoring bats in arid environments, and her findings are out this week in the J. Arid Environments. This is open access until December 9th.
Marina Fisher-Phelps, Dylan Schwilk and Tigga Kingston. (2017). Mobile acoustic transects detect more bat activity than stationary acoustic point counts in an urban-rural landscape matrix. Journal of Arid Environments 136: 38-44. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jaridenv.2016.10.005
Treeless, waterless plain, where turbines abound. Driven transects work better than stationary points for detecting the little bat activity.
The first publication from Kendra’s dissertation came out online in July, but it is out this month in the September issue of Biological Conservation.
Phelps, K., Jose, R., Labonite, M., & Kingston, T. (2016). Correlates of cave-roosting bat diversity as an effective tool to identify priority caves. Biological Conservation, 201, 201-209.
She and her team surveyed no less than 60 caves on Bohol Island, Philippines — a lot of hard work. Here are the highlights:
- Correlates of cave bat diversity were used to develop cave – prioritization schemes.
- Surface-level disturbance and cave complexity correlated with bat diversity.
- Prioritization schemes selected caves with greater richness than random selection.
- Open-source data and/or rapid cave surveys can prioritize caves for conservation.
Several of the lab were able to make it to the 17th International Bat Research Conference in South Africa at the end of July/August. It was a great meeting. Iroro presented on her first full field season with an oral paper “Preliminary data on the distribution of insectivorous forest bats along elevational gradients in the Nigerian/Cameroon mountains”, and Kendra summarized her recent work “Correlates of cave-roosting bat diversity as an effective tool to identify priority caves”. Tigga gave a Plenary talk “Perish or persist? The ecology of vulnerability in Southeast Asia’s modified landscapes”
Tigga and Iroro then headed to the 5-day Bat Conservation Africa Workshop for young African researchers that Iroro had organized. It was a wonderful opportunity to meet the young talent of the continent, and share experiences. Iroro did a great job pulling it all together!
Kendra successfully defended last Wednesday — yay! Her dissertation title is “Response of Cave-roosting Bats to Complex Environmental Gradients: an Assessment across Assemblage-, Species- and Population-levels”. The first chapter is in revision for Biological Conservation, which is great. Thanks to her committee members Nancy McIntyre, Bill Resetarits, Jodi Sedlock, Rich Strauss for their service and support of Kendra. Thanks also to Richard Stevens for acting as Dean’s Rep.
Very happy to say that “Bats in the Anthropocene: Conservation of Bats in a Changing World” was published this week. The book was edited by Christian Voigt and Tigga, and published by Springer International AG. Because of generous support from Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research, EUROBATS and SEABCRU, the book is published as Open Access and can be downloaded here
The lab was well-represented in the book, with two core chapters contributed by Tigga, as well as the introduction. Kendra Phelps was a co-author for the chapter “Bats and Buildings: The Conservation of Synanthropic Bats”, Marina Fisher-Phelps for “Bats and Water: Anthropogenic Alterations Threaten Global Bat Populations” and Iroro Tanshi “Exploitation of Bats for Bushmeat and Medicine”.
With 18 chapters it is a great contribution to the bat conservation literature, and in fact the first edited volume that deals solely with conservation of bats.