The female of the species is harder to please than the male

November 19, 2014 by Karen Mcintosh
Soprano pipistrelle bat. Credit: Lorna Blackmore

Female bats are fussier than males when it comes choosing where to eat in urban areas, according to new research from the University of Stirling.

Town and city planners must take the needs of into account when managing urban woodlands, to prevent a decline in numbers of certain .

The Stirling study, published today in the Royal Society journal Open Science, considered how male and female bats respond to different types of woodland.

Researchers captured bats in 32 urban woodlands across Central Scotland and examined what factors were determining the numbers of males and females within each woodland.

It found female soprano pipistrelles favour high quality woodland which is well connected to other woodland patches.

Males, on the other hand, seem to be less particular and are just as likely to be found settling for poorer-quality woodland patches next to built-up areas.

Stirling PhD student Paul Lintott conducted the research. He said: "People often see bats in , but many species have suffered population declines and struggle to survive in urbanised landscapes.

"We examined whether there might also be differences between the sexes as it is particularly important to understand how breeding females are responding to urbanisation given their importance in ensuring the survival of future generations within the city environment.

"These findings suggest the demands of pregnancy and raising offspring are driving females to select woodlands which provide good feeding opportunities and a safe route to fly between feeding grounds and roosting sites."

Ecologist Dr Kirsty Park, who led the research team, added: "Our results show it is essential to identify habitats for breeding females rather than assuming that all individuals of a species respond in the same way – indeed the survival of the species may depend on it.

"As the push for new housing and development continues within towns and cities, the remaining green-space is becoming increasingly threatened. There is growing evidence human health within cities is linked to the ability to access green-space and it seems that have similar requirements to survive within our crowded streets."

Explore further: New research show that bats will hang out with their friends this Halloween

More information: City life makes females fussy: sex differences in habitat use of temperate bats in urban areas, rsos.royalsocietypublishing.or … /10.1098/rsos.140200

Related Stories

City life key to harlequin ladybird invasion

October 12, 2014

A new paper published in the Journal of Biogeography today concludes that the harlequin ladybird, an invasive alien species first recorded in the UK in 2004, has a preference for urban areas and sunnier habitats.

Recommended for you

Barn owls found to suffer no hearing loss as they age

September 20, 2017

(Phys.org)—A small team of researchers with the University of Oldenburg has found that barn owls do not suffer hearing loss as they get older. In their paper published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, the group describes ...

Bats anticipate optimal weather conditions

September 20, 2017

Millions of animals fly, swim or walk around the Earth every year. To ensure that they reach their destination, they need to perceive precise changes in environmental conditions and choose the right moment to set off on their ...

2 comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

wtfscience_
5 / 5 (1) Nov 19, 2014
http://i.imgur.com/2xUocZB.jpg
Whydening Gyre
not rated yet Nov 19, 2014
WTF -
Appropo...

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.