Study

Managing hedgerows for nocturnal wildlife: do bats and their insect prey benefit from targeted agri-environment schemes?

  • Published source details Froidevaux J.S.P., Boughey K.L., Hawkins C.L., Broyles M. & Jones G. (2019) Managing hedgerows for nocturnal wildlife: do bats and their insect prey benefit from targeted agri-environment schemes? Journal of Applied Ecology, 56, 1610-1623

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Manage hedges to benefit bats

Action Link
Bat Conservation
  1. Manage hedges to benefit bats

    A replicated, site comparison study in 2016 on 20 farms in southwest England, UK (Froidevaux et al 2019) found that hedges that had not been trimmed for at least three years had more bat species and greater activity of two of eight bat species/species groups than hedges trimmed during the previous winter. Hedges trimmed ≥3 years prior had more bat species and greater activity of greater horseshoe bats Rhinolophus ferrumequinum and Plecotus spp. than hedges trimmed during the previous winter (data reported as statistical model results). Lesser horseshoe bats Rhinolophus hipposideros were more likely to be recorded along hedges trimmed ≥3 years prior, but activity did not differ significantly. Activity also did not differ significantly for five other bat species/species groups (see original paper for details). There were no significant differences between hedges trimmed two years prior vs. those trimmed during the previous winter. Sixty-four hedges were surveyed on 20 farms (2–4 hedges/farm). Nineteen hedges (under agri-environment scheme management since 2005) had not been trimmed for ≥3 consecutive winters. Twenty-eight hedges were trimmed during the previous winter (four agri-environment scheme, 24 conventionally managed), 17 were trimmed two winters prior (seven agri-environment scheme, 10 conventionally managed). All hedges were mechanically top trimmed. Bats were recorded with a bat detector along each of 64 hedges during one full night in June–August 2016.

    (Summarised by: Anna Berthinussen)

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