Insectivorous bats are less active near freeways.

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From: PLoS ONE(Vol. 16, Issue 3)
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Document Type: Report
Length: 7,327 words
Lexile Measure: 1430L

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Abstract :

Traffic disturbances (i.e. pollution, light, noise, and vibrations) often extend into the area surrounding a road creating a 'road-effect zone'. Habitat within the road-effect zone is degraded or, in severe cases, completely unsuitable for wildlife, resulting in indirect habitat loss. This can have a disproportionate impact on wildlife in highly modified landscapes, where remaining habitat is scarce or occurs predominantly along roadside reserves. In this study, we investigated the road-effect zone for insectivorous bats in highly cleared agricultural landscapes by quantifying the change in call activity with proximity to three major freeways. The activity of seven out of 10 species of bat significantly decreased with proximity to the freeway. We defined the road-effect zone to be the proximity at which call activity declined by at least 20% relative to the maximum detected activity. The overall road-effect zone for bats in this region was 307 m, varying between 123 and 890 m for individual species. Given that this road-effect zone exceeds the typical width of the roadside verges (

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A654518952