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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Bat activity in rice paddies: Organic and conventional farms compared to unmanaged habitat

Published source details

Toffoli R. & Rughetti M. (2017) Bat activity in rice paddies: Organic and conventional farms compared to unmanaged habitat. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, 249, 123-129

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Use organic farming instead of conventional farming Bat Conservation

A replicated, site comparison study in 2015–2016 at three organic and three conventional rice farms near Vercelli, Italy (Toffoli & Rughetti 2017) found that organic farms had higher overall bat activity and bat feeding activity than conventional farms. The average number of bat passes was higher on organic rice farms (178 bat passes/hour) than conventional rice farms (50 bat passes/hour). The same was true for the average number of feeding buzzes (organic farms: 27 buzzes/hour; conventional farms: 1 buzz/hour). Twelve bat species were recorded in total although 95% of the recordings were Pipistrellus spp. (see original paper for data for individual species). Surveys were carried out on three organic rice farms (rice paddies certified organic and not treated with synthetic pesticides) and three conventional rice farms (rice paddies regularly treated with pesticides and chemical fertilizers). Bat activity was recorded with a bat detector at one sampling point/farm for three nights in May–September 2015 or 2016.

(Summarised by Anna Berthinussen)