Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Bat Bridges Don't Work

ScienceDaily (June 13, 2012) — Wire bridges built to guide bats safely across busy roads simply do not work, University of Leeds researchers have confirmed.

In a study published June 13, 2012 in PLoS ONE, a team from the University's Faculty of Biological Sciences monitored four wire bridges spanning major roads in the north of England. All had been built over the last nine years to replace hedgerows -- the bats' established commuting routes -- when these routes were severed by new roads.
Roads act as barriers to bats, cutting colonies off from established feeding sites and reducing their ability to feed themselves and their young. Most species of bat fly relatively close to the ground or close to trees and hedges, for protection against the weather and potential predators. Those that do cross roads typically do so at traffic height, with a high risk of collision -- so the wire bridges are a common conservation measure aimed at encouraging bats to cross above the traffic.

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