The creation of new artificial lakes as a mitigation measure for bats

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    Abstract

    The border of the Antwerp harbour, lying in a Natura 2000 area, contains several artifi cial lakes that are important for many species protected under the habitat and birds directive, including birds, Natterjack toad and bats. A previous study
    indicated that the activity and the species diversity of foraging bats at these lakes are high compared to other regions in the neighbourhood. The harbour is in full expansion and some important lakes are planned to disappear. However, as a compensation for birds, new big lakes have been created recently. We examined the use of these new lakes by bats by counting bat passes with bat detectors. After two years all species of bats used the new lakes. Activity, however, depended on the landscape context. A new lake that was poorly connected to existing network of lakes, canals and tree rows showed lower activity than a well connected one. The activity over the well connected lake was comparable
    with the activity over an important old lake. We concluded that creation of new artifi cial lakes can effectively and fast act as a mitigation measure for bats, provided they are well embedded in the network of landscape elements that bats
    use for commuting.
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages1
    Publication statusPublished - 2009

    Thematic list

    • Species and biotopes

    EWI Biomedical sciences

    • B005-zoology
    • B003-ecology

    Taxonomic list

    • bats (Chiroptera)

    Policy

    • Habitats Directive

    Geographic list

    • Port of Antwerp

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