Picky eating potentially perilous for bats

Jul 25, 2007

Working in the Department of Ecology and Organismal Biology, Justin Boyles and Jonathan Storm examined the possibility of a link between dietary specialization and the risk of extinction for bats in Australia, Europe and North America.

Their study, published in the July 25 edition of the online, open-access journal PLoS ONE, indicates that “species of conservation concern often have a more specialized diet than common species,” said Boyles.

Additional analyses show that dietary breadth is not related to either geographic range size or wing structure, characteristics previously found to be associated with extinction risk in bats.

Previous research has shown that habitat loss, roost availability, and gregariousness influence the extinction risk of bats, but the Indiana State study suggests that dietary specialization may also play a role.

“The link between dietary specialization and extinction risk seems intuitive, so it is surprising that previous studies have failed to find this relationship,” said Storm.

Boyles and Storm propose that dietary specialization may be an important characteristic for conservation biologists to consider when evaluating the extinction risk of bat species. In addition, their study may help develop models for predicting a species’ risk of extinction. However, “similar studies are needed on additional bat families before we can fully understand the relationship between dietary breadth and extinction risk,” Boyles and Storm said.

Source: Public Library of Science

Explore further: Giant anteaters kill two hunters in Brazil

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

New planthopper species found in southern Spain

1 hour ago

Not much is known about the the genus of planthopper known as Conosimus, which now includes six species after a new one was recently discovered in the southern part of the Iberian Peninsula in the Spanish ...

Ex-Qualcomm exec pleads guilty to insider trading

8 hours ago

A former high-ranking executive of US computer chip giant Qualcomm pleaded guilty Monday to insider trading charges, including trades on a 2011 deal for Atheros Communications, officials said.

Media venture creates press litigation fund

9 hours ago

The media venture created by entrepreneur Pierre Omidyar said Monday it was establishing a fund to help defend journalists in cases involving freedom of the press.

Recommended for you

Giant anteaters kill two hunters in Brazil

29 minutes ago

Giant anteaters in Brazil have killed two hunters in separate incidents, raising concerns about the animals' loss of habitat and the growing risk of dangerous encounters with people, researchers said.

Rising temperatures can be hard on dogs

18 hours ago

The "dog days of summer" are here, but don't let the phrase fool you. This hot time of year can be dangerous for your pup, says a Kansas State University veterinarian.

User comments : 0