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Effects of land cover types, linear features and Tir Gofal agri-environment scheme on activity of bats (Chiroptera) in agricultural landscape of southwest Wales

2011Effects of land cover types, linear features and Tir Gofal agri-environment scheme on activity of bats (Chiroptera) in agricultural landscape of southwest Wales.BURAZEROVIC MANIC Jelena (Serbia And Montenegro)jelenamanic@yahoo.com
Organisation:University of East Anglia, Norwich (UK)Supervisor :Paul Dolman
Summary: More than 76% of the land in Britain is used for agriculture. Increased mechanisation, reduction in connective, linear features such as hedgerows, use of pesticides, and habitat degradation have resulted in national decline of British bat species. Agri-environment schemes deliver multiple benefits for environment, protecting wildlife habitats and conserving species. Of particular importance within agri-environment scheme is promotion and conservation of linear landscape features since they present essential habitat elements for bats as commuting flight paths and foraging habitats. This study aims to answer how do different land cover types affect bat activity. which types of linear features affect presence and activity of bats. and does participation of farms in Tir Gofal agri-environment scheme influence bat activity. This study analyses effect of presence and proportion of deciduous and coniferous woodland, improved and other grassland, arable land, heath, bracken, and urban areas on bat activity. Effects of the presence and length of hedgerows, streams, rivers, tree lines, individual trees, scrub, tree belt and woodland on presence and activity of bats have been examined at smaller scale. Hedgerow characteristics such as its height, percentage of trees, number of woody species and its management are analysed in more detail. The analysis includes effects of number and time of visit to particular site, altitude, region and environmental factors on bat activity. This study provides further knowledge on importance of particular land uses, types of linear features and suitable hedgerow characteristics for bat conservation in agricultural landscape. It can contribute to improvement of Tir Gofal management prescriptions in terms of establishment of landscape capacity to support viable bat populations and enhance bat populations to the full capacity of the landscape.
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