Control invasive plant species
Overall effectiveness category Unknown effectiveness (limited evidence)
Number of studies: 1
Background information and definitions
Invasive plant species can threaten native biodiversity and alter bat foraging habitats such as forest and woodland. For example, invasive tree and vine species have caused the deterioration of foraging habitat of the Seychelles sheath-tailed bat Coleura seychellensis and have been found to obstruct roost entrances (Gerlach 2009).
Gerlach, J. (2009) Conservation of the Seychelles sheath-tailed bat Coleura seychellensis on Silhouette Island, Seychelles. Endangered Species Research, 8, 5–13.
Supporting evidence from individual studies
A site comparison study in 2004–2005 in nine forest fragments within the Chicago metropolitan area, USA (Smith & Gehrt 2010) found that two of seven forest fragments that had undergone restoration, including invasive plant species removal, had higher bat activity than two unrestored forest fragments. Bat activity was higher in two forest fragments that had been restored with invasive plant species removal, multiple prescribed burns, and snag recruitment (average 7–19 bat passes/survey) than in two control sites with no restoration (average 1–4 bat passes/survey). Bat activity was similar between control sites and five other forest fragments that had been restored with various combinations of invasive plant species removal, multiple prescribed burns, snag recruitment and deer population control (1–6 bat passes/survey). Six bat species were recorded in total (see original paper for data for individual species). The study does not distinguish between the effects of invasive plant species removal and the other interventions carried out. Fire suppression over the last 100 years had altered the structure of the nine forest fragments (10–260 ha in size). Seven of the nine forest fragments were being restored to open the canopy, reduce tree density and remove invasive plant species. At each of nine sites, four bat detectors recorded bat activity for 4 h from sunset for five nights/year in June–September 2004 and May–August 2005.Study and other actions tested