Influence of surface area, water level and adjacent vegetation on bat use of artificial water sources

  • Published source details Jackrel S.L. & Matlack R.S. (2010) Influence of surface area, water level and adjacent vegetation on bat use of artificial water sources. American Midland Naturalist, 164, 74-79.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Manage livestock water troughs as a drinking resource for bats

Action Link
Bat Conservation
  1. Manage livestock water troughs as a drinking resource for bats

    A paired sites study in 2008 in a semi-arid area of Texas, USA (Jackrel & Matlack 2010) found that livestock water tanks that were larger, full of water or surrounded by sparse vegetation had more bats drinking from them than smaller, half full tanks surrounded by no or dense vegetation. More bats drank from tanks that were larger (30 bats), full of water (20 bats) or surrounded by sparse vegetation (15 bats) compared to tanks that were smaller (0 bats), half full of water (0 bats) or surrounded by no vegetation (2 bats) or dense vegetation (0 bats). Four pairs of galvanized livestock water tanks (1.2, 1.8 or 3 m diameter, 0.6 m high) were deployed (spaced 80 m apart) for two nights each. Each pair tested one of four treatments: tank size (3-m diameter tank vs 1.2-m diameter tank), water level (full tank vs half full tank), sparse vegetation (one tank with salt cedar Tamarix spp. branches tied around the perimeter with some gaps, the other with no vegetation), dense vegetation (one tank with dense salt cedar branches tied around the perimeter, the other with no vegetation). Treatments were switched within each pair between the two nights. Bat activity was recorded using night-vision video cameras and infra-red lights for 160 minutes/night after sunset at each of the eight tanks in June–August 2008. Bats were not identified to species.

    (Summarised by: Anna Berthinussen)

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