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Habitat use, diet and roost selection by the Big Brown Bat (Eptesicus fuscus) in North America: a case for conserving an abundant species

Authors


Salvatore J.Agosta
Department of Biology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104–6018, USA (E-mail: sjagosta@hotmail.com)

ABSTRACT

Insectivorous bats are integral components of terrestrial ecosystems. Despite this, a growing number of factors causing world-wide declines in bat populations have been identified. Relatively abundant species are important for bat conservation because of their role in ecosystems and the research opportunities they offer. In addition, species that have been well-studied present unique opportunities to synthesize information and highlight important areas of focus for conservation and research. This paper focuses on a well-studied abundant bat, Eptesicus fuscus. I review the relevant literature on habitat use, diet and roost selection by E. fuscus in North America, and highlight important areas of conservation and research for this species, including the effects of roost disturbance, control of economically important insect pests, exposure to pesticides, long-term monitoring of populations, and the potential consequences of expanding populations. These issues have broad implications for other species and can be used to focus future research and conservation efforts.

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