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

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterResearchpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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.

EWI Biomedical sciences

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