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Bats and climate change: what do we know and what can we do about it?

Encontro Scientia with Hugo Rebelo (Tropical and Mediterranean Biodiversity)
1 February 2024 . 12h00 (Lisbon time) . Room 2.2.14 (FCUL)
Online access • LINK 
Password • scientia

 

Climate change poses a significant threat to biodiversity, with implications for nature conservation in the 21st century. Bats are a diverse mammal order that play relevant roles for ecosystem maintenance including high value services for agriculture and forests. Yet, bats are potentially sensitive to negative impacts from climate change due to their small size, low reproduction rates and habitat modification.

In this talk, I will summarize the current knowledge regarding the impact of climate change on bats and ways to manage it. Results mainly arising from the last twenty years of research point to major range shifts for a large number of species, as well as life cycle disruptions (loss of hibernation and early parturitions) and temporal mismatches with prey emergence. Despite these challenges, I will also present examples of specific conservation actions that may mitigate the impact of climate change. In parallel, farmers and agro-ecological practices will surely play a significant role for conservation. Together with the explosion of new technologies and citizen-science movements, the fight against the impacts of climate change will rely more and more on people and local associations, where small actions build up to a large contribution for bat conservation.


Tags: TMB bats climate change conservation

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