A macroecological perspective on strategic bat conservation in the U.S. National Park Service
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- A macroecological perspective on strategic bat conservation in the U.S. National Park Service
- Series Title:
- Rodhouse, Thomas J.
Philippi, Thomas E.
Monahan, William B.
Castle, Kevin T.
- Publication Date:
- serial ( sobekcm )
- North American bat populations face unprecedented threats from disease and rapid environmental change, requiring a commensurate strategic conservation response. Protectedâ€area networks have tremendous potential to support coordinated resource protection, disease surveillance, and population monitoring that could become a cornerstone of 21stâ€century bat conservation. To motivate this idea, we develop a macroecological perspective about bat diversity and associated conservation challenges and opportunities on U.S. National Park Service (NPS ) lands. We compared occurrence records from parks against published range maps. Only 55 (19%) of parks reported as present â‰¥90% of the bat species expected based on range maps, highlighting the informationâ€gap challenge. Discrepancies suggest substantial underâ€reporting and underâ€sampling of bats on NPS lands; inadequate range maps and habitat specificity are implicated for some species. Despite these discrepancies, 50 species, including several rangeâ€restricted and endangered taxa, were reported in at least one park unit, including those in the Caribbean and tropical Pacific. Species richness increased with park area at a rate (z ) of ~0.1, a pattern confounded by covariation with latitude, elevation, and habitat. When accounting for these factors, richness decreased predictably at higher latitudes and increased at midâ€elevations and with greater numbers of keystone underground habitat structures (caves and mines), reflecting a strong speciesâ€“energy relationship. The inclusion of covariates that represented percentage of natural vs. humanâ€modified (converted) landscapes and elevation rangeâ€”a proxy for environmental heterogeneityâ€”was uninformative. Whiteâ€nose syndrome (WNS ) presents a tremendous challenge to the NPS : All 12 species currently known to be affected by the disease or to host the causal fungus are represented in the NPS system. One hundred and twentyâ€seven NPS parks are in counties currently or likely to become WNS â€positive by 2026. All parks are expected to expe
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- University of South Florida Library
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- University of South Florida
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