Riparian zones are an important habitat for a range of bat species and, as a consequence, understanding whether land use practices such as timber harvesting influence their use is important for conservation and management. This small-scale study used bat activity as a measure of the use of riparian and up-slope zones along headwater streams by bats, and to determine whether past timber harvesting influenced the use of these areas by bats by comparing regrowth with no retained riparian buffers and mature forest. This study found no significant differences in bat activity between treatments, but did find a trend of higher bat activity in riparian zones compared to up-slope zones, particularly in regrowth forest. However, many sites had little to no bat activity indicating activity was influenced by factors not measured in this study. Despite limited data, this study highlights the potential value of retaining riparian habitat in harvested forests for bats, as is practised elsewhere in Australia, and the need for future research into the effectiveness of forest retention measures for wildlife.
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The Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales' (RZS NSW) main focus is to foster the study and conservation of Australia's unique native fauna. If you are passionate about the study and conservation of Australia's exceptional wildlife, do join our society today. We depend upon the support of our members.