The potential availability of roosting sites for lesser short-tailed bats (Mystacina tuberculata) on Kapiti Island, New Zealand: Implications for a translocation

Ruffell, J, Sedgeley, J, & Parsons, Stuart (2007) The potential availability of roosting sites for lesser short-tailed bats (Mystacina tuberculata) on Kapiti Island, New Zealand: Implications for a translocation. NEW ZEALAND JOURNAL OF ZOOLOGY, 34, pp. 219-226.

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Lesser short-tailed bats (Mystacina tuberculata) have recently been translocated to Kapiti Island in an attempt to form a new population of this threatened species. However, the island's vegetation is regenerating, and there was doubt that the forests provided enough large trees with cavities for bats to roost in. This study measured the availability of tree-trunk cavities of the right size for potential roost sites on Kapiti Island, and assessed if habitat restoration would be required to increase the translocation's chance of success. First, trees with cavities accessible to us were sampled in six of Kapiti Island's forest types. Size variables known to affect roost site selection by lesser short-tailed bats at the tree and cavity level were measured. Trees were classified as containing cavities that could potentially provide suitable roosts if their values for all variables measured fell within the range of roosts used by lesser short-tailed bats in natural populations. Roosts were classified as suitably sized for solitary bats or for colonies, using measurements from both types of roosts in natural populations. Second, the density of these potential roost cavities was calculated. Cavities of a size potentially suitable for colonies were found in four of the six forest types at densities ranging from 3.2 +/- 3.2 SE to 52.4 +/- 14.0 trees per ha. Density of potential solitary roosts was much higher. Not all potential cavities will be suitable because they may be damp, poorly insulated, or have an unsuitable microclimate. Nevertheless, our estimates indicated that the two most extensive forest types each contained thousands of potential cavities of a size suitable for colonies of lesser short-tailed bats. In addition, there were tens of thousands of cavities large enough to shelter solitary bats. Roost habitat restoration appears unnecessary to assist translocated Mystacina tuberculata on Kapiti Island.

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ID Code: 79765
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
DOI: 10.1080/03014220709510080
Copyright Owner: Taylor & Francis
Deposited On: 21 Jan 2015 22:11
Last Modified: 05 Feb 2015 04:15

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