Lisa Höcker

Habitat use of bats in an urbanised landscape.

All bat species abundant in the Netherlands are protected under the EU’s Habitat Directive. In order to ensure the populations’ ‘favourable state’, research on habitat requirements and frequented structures needs to be conducted. Since our landscapes face an increasing trend of urbanisation, the focus lays upon habitats in urban areas. In 2013 the municipality of Utrecht in cooperation with the Dutch Mammal Society launched a citizen science project to record bat activity throughout the city. The aim was to identify species present within the urban area. We reviewed and analysed the collected data by comparing it to the abundance of habitat structures. Our study reveals the links of species richness and habitat structures as well as species habitat requirements on a temporal and spatial scale. The species richness and activity highly depends upon the season of recording and increases with a rising number of trees. Further we identified species specific differences in habitat requirements on a spatial and temporal scale.

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