Managing forests with prescribed fire: Implications for a cavity-dwelling bat species
This study is summarised as evidence for the following.
Use prescribed burningAction Link
Use prescribed burning
A replicated study in 2003–2004 in a 1,200 ha deciduous forest in Missouri, USA (Boyles & Aubrey 2006) found that evening bats Nycticeius humeralis roosted only in areas of the forest where prescribed burning had occurred. Twenty-three bats were tracked to 63 tree roosts in burned areas, and no roosts were found in unburned areas. The burned area of the forest had a more open canopy and significantly more dead trees than the unburned area. Prescribed burning began in 1999 after 50 years of fire suppression and was done every two years in March or April in 55% of the study area. Bats were caught from March 2003 to March 2004 using mist nets across forest roads between the burned and unburned areas of the forest and in 2–3 ponds or roads in both areas. Twenty-three bats (11 females and 12 males) were fitted with radio-transmitters and tracked to roost trees each day until the transmitter was shed or expired.