New study: Radar reveals bats are a bellwether of climate change

first_imgAdaptation, Adaptation To Climate Change, Agriculture, Animal Behavior, Animals, Bats, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change And Biodiversity, Climate Change And Conservation, Climate Change And Food, Conservation, Ecology, Ecosystem Services, Environment, Impact Of Climate Change, Insects, Mammals, Migration, Research, Technology, Technology And Conservation, Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation New research indicates that bats could signal seasonal shifts due to climate change.The study, published in the journal Global Change Biology, is the first to use radar to track an animal migration.The scientists found that bats that migrate between Mexico and a cave in Texas are now arriving about two weeks earlier than they did in 1995. Scientists know that bats boost the profits of farmers by fertilizing crops and keeping hungry insects in check. According to recent research, they also could clue farmers in to shifting weather patterns due to climate change.“These bats spend every night hard at work for local farmers, consuming over half of their own weight in insects,” Charlotte Wainwright, a co-author of the study published online Feb. 14 by the journal Global Change Biology, said in a statement.In the first study to employ radar to study animal migration, Wainwright and Phillip Stepanian, both meteorologists with the agricultural research institution Rothamsted Research in the U.K., found that Brazilian free-tailed bats (Tadarida brasiliensis Mexicana) now fly north to Texas from Mexico on their annual migration about two weeks earlier than they did a couple of decades ago.Brazilian free-tailed bats in Cartwright Cave in the Bahamas. Photo by Matti Mero [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.The discovery was something of an accident, Stepanian said in the statement. The team was combing through radar measurements for weather surveillance around Bracken Cave near San Antonio, Texas, where millions of Brazilian free-tailed bats roost in the spring, summer and fall. This data, it turns out, is a handy tool for estimating the size of bat populations.“Our initial goal was just to show that the populations could be monitored remotely without disturbing the colony,” Stepanian said. “We weren’t expecting to see anything particularly noteworthy.”But when they looked at the measurements between 1995 and 2017, which tracked the massive exodus of bats from the cave each evening heading out to hunt, a pattern emerged. It showed that the bats now arrive at the cave earlier on average in the spring than they did in 1995 — currently around mid-March each year.Millions of bats roost in Bracken Cave in Texas between the spring and fall. Photo by Phillip Stepanian/Rothamsted Research.They were also able to document a growing proportion of the population sticking around through the winter. Research on Bracken Cave in the 1950s reported that the bats typically cleared out by mid-November each year. But the earliest data in the current study indicated that about 1 percent of the bats had taken to wintering in the southern Texas cave. By 2017, that figure rose to 3.5 percent.“We can’t tell if the overwintering bats are bats that arrived in March and have not returned south, or if they migrated to Bracken Cave from farther north,” Stepanian said.The research validates the use of radar to help keep tabs on bat numbers. And while the study has demonstrated that bats are capable of adapting to changes to their environment, other questions have arisen. It’s not clear how they’ll respond to more extreme climatic changes or whether bats’ malleable behavior will allow them to cope. If they can’t, of course, that’s likely to have an impact on farmers’ yields.What is clear, Stepanian said, is that Bracken Cave’s seasonal bat colony is responding “to some environmental change, and to the presence of insect prey earlier in the year.”Brazilian free-tailed bats near Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico. Photo by Nick Hristov [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.Banner image of free-tailed bats leaving Bracken Cave by Phillip Stepanian/Rothamsted Research.CITATIONSEads, R. B., Wiseman, J. S., & Menzies, G. C. (1957). Observations concerning the Mexican free-tailed bat, Tadarida mexicana. Texas. Texas Journal of Science, 9(2), 227-242.Federico, P., Hallam, T. G., McCracken, G. F., Purucker, S. T., Grant, W. E., Correa-Sandoval, A. N., … & López, J. D. (2008). Brazilian free‐tailed bats as insect pest regulators in transgenic and conventional cotton crops. Ecological Applications, 18(4), 826-837.Stepanian, P. M., & Wainwright, C. E. (2018). Ongoing changes in migration phenology and winter residency at Bracken Bat Cave. Global Change Biology.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Article published by John Cannoncenter_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? 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In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? 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I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img

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