Forests offer important refuge to bats by providing attractive roosting and foraging habitats. Their conservation is a major responsibility of forest managers. The use of tree cavities by bats in forests depends on the specific demands of each species, with a large range of different types of microhabitats utilised, from degraded cavities such as peeling bark to healthy hollows in live trees ensuring the temporal stability of the habitat. The conservation of tree-dwelling bats should not be dissociated from their fission-fusion behaviour which involves the use of many different roosts. Conservation measures must therefore take into account forest habitats suitable for feeding and in particular, forest parameters such as structure, composition, vegetation and foliage, among other elements such as deadwood, all upon which the forest manager can intervene. Acting in favour of bats requires close consideration of their complex individual responses concerning roost selection and foraging habitat selection, which is largely dictated by the reproductive status of individuals. Thereafter it is possible to evaluate the impact of wood harvesting on bats and to infer silvicultural conservation measures. The implementation of recommendations must then subsequently be based on a strong involvement on the part of the forest manager.
Part of the book: Bats