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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: 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 intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

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

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 significantly 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)