Artificial wetlands and surrounding habitats provide important foraging habitat for bats in agricultural landscapes in the Western Cape, South Africa
This study is summarised as evidence for the following.
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Create artificial water sources
A replicated, paired sites study in 2010–2011 of 30 pairs of farmland sites in the Western Cape, South Africa (Sirami et al 2013) found that farm dams and ponds had higher bat activity but a similar number of bat species when compared with open grassland/crops, trees, vineyards or orchards. Total bat activity and the activity of all six bat species analysed was higher over farm dams and ponds than in open grassland/crops, trees, vineyards or orchards (data reported as statistical model results). The activity of three bat species also increased with dam/pond size. The number of bat species recorded did not differ significantly between dams/ponds and other habitat types or with dam/pond size (data reported as statistical model results). Three sampling points were surveyed at each site including a farm dam or stock pond (0.1–172 ha in size) and two other habitats (open grassland/crops, trees, vineyards or orchards). A bat detector was deployed for 4.5 hours from sunset for two or more nights at each sampling point between November 2010 and April 2011.