Bats are not birds - different responses to human land-use on a tropical mountain

  • Published source details Helbig-Bonitz M., Ferger S.W., Bohning-Gaese K., Tschapka M., Howell K. & Kalko E.K.V. (2015) Bats are not birds - different responses to human land-use on a tropical mountain. Biotropica, 47, 497-508.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Retain or plant native trees and shrubs amongst crops (agroforestry)

Action Link
Bat Conservation
  1. Retain or plant native trees and shrubs amongst crops (agroforestry)

    A replicated, site comparison study in 2010–2011 in 19 plantation, forest and grassland sites on the southern slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania (Helbig-Bonitz et al. 2015) found that shaded coffee plantations had greater overall bat occurrence and species richness than traditional agroforestry systems, grasslands or natural forests, and species composition also differed. Overall bat occurrence was greater in shaded coffee plantations (average 49 occurrences) than traditional agroforestry systems (34 occurrences), grasslands (29 occurrences) or natural forests (15 occurrences). Species richness was higher in shaded coffee plantations (10 different types of bat echolocation call) than traditional agroforestry systems (8 types of bat call), grasslands (7 types of bat call) or natural forests (6 types of bat call). Species composition also differed between habitat types (data reported as statistical model results). Surveys were conducted in 4–5 plots (0.5 ha) within each of four habitat types: shaded coffee plantations (coffee plants with native or non-native tree species), traditional agroforestry systems (mixed agricultural plants with natural forest vegetation and large shade trees), grasslands (frequently cut to feed livestock) and natural forests. Four points/plot were surveyed from sunset for 4 x 5-minute intervals. Each plot was surveyed on one night in December–March 2010/2011 and June–September 2011.

    (Summarised by: Anna Berthinussen)

Output references
What Works 2021 cover

What Works in Conservation

What Works in Conservation provides expert assessments of the effectiveness of actions, based on summarised evidence, in synopses. Subjects covered so far include amphibians, birds, mammals, forests, peatland and control of freshwater invasive species. More are in progress.

More about What Works in Conservation

Download free PDF or purchase
The Conservation Evidence Journal

The Conservation Evidence Journal

An online, free to publish in, open-access journal publishing results from research and projects that test the effectiveness of conservation actions.

Read the latest volume: Volume 21

Go to the CE Journal

Discover more on our blog

Our blog contains the latest news and updates from the Conservation Evidence team, the Conservation Evidence Journal, and our global partners in evidence-based conservation.

Who uses Conservation Evidence?

Meet some of the evidence champions

Endangered Landscape ProgrammeRed List Champion - Arc Kent Wildlife Trust The Rufford Foundation Save the Frogs - Ghana Mauritian Wildlife Supporting Conservation Leaders
Sustainability Dashboard National Biodiversity Network Frog Life The international journey of Conservation - Oryx Cool Farm Alliance UNEP AWFA Bat Conservation InternationalPeople trust for endangered species Vincet Wildlife Trust